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Who is Iñigo Martinez, Real Sociedad Defender Rumored to be Barcelona’s Newest Signing?

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Barça are spending some of the Neymar cash on him, apparently.

Real Madrid CF v Real Sociedad de Futbol - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Barcelona are reportedly set to pay the release clause for Real Sociedad defender Iñigo Martinez. He might be Barça’s first signing after the extraordinary sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain. However, he’d come relatively cheaply - just 32 million.

Just who is he?

Well, he’s just turned 26 and is known as one of La Liga’s top ball-playing defenders. He was born in Ondorroa, on the coast of the Basque Country and not too far from San Sebastian. He has spent his entire career with Real Sociedad.

He has played for Spain at U20, U21, and U23 level and made four appearances for the full national team. He's also played in unofficial games for the Basque country.

Martinez has been frequently linked with a switch to the Blaugrana throughout his career. His name was brought up almost yearly as the future of Barça’s left side of defense.

He had also been linked with a move to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City earlier in the summer transfer window.

Last season he played 34 league games for La Real, scoring three goals and giving two assists. He was sent off one time and received nine yellows.

Standing 1.81m (5’11”), Martinez’s strength is playing along the ground and distributing from the back, which makes him a good fit stylistically at Barcelona. Last season, he was the defender who played the second-most passes in La Liga after Pedro Bigas of Las Palmas.

We await now for official confirmation that Barcelona have signed him.