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Barcelona step up Gundogan interest after agreeing Inigo Martinez deal - report

The Catalans are hoping to seal two free transfers

FC Barcelona v Manchester City - Friendly Match Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona have a verbal agreement in place with Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez, according to ESPN. The center-back’s contract expires in June and as we all know, Barca really gobbles up those free transfers.

With that verbal agreement apparently in place, Barca are now turning their attention to a full-court press for Ilkay Gundogan. The German midfielder’s contract is also up in June, how convenient, and he has apparently shown some back channel interest in a move to Barcelona.

If Barca are able to land the 31-year-old Martinez and 32-year-old Gundogan, they’ll have managed two impressive signings at no transfer cost. They would provide Barca with depth in the defense and midfield, both of which they need with the injuries that pile up in modern football.

Both transfers are still dependent on the club reducing their wage bill this summer, with reports claiming the Catalans need to slash around 200 million euros to be able to strengthen.

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