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Athletic boss responds to Inigo Martinez to Barcelona rumors

The defender has been linked with a Camp Nou move

Elche CF v Athletic Club - LaLiga Santander Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

Athletic president Jon Uriarte has played down talk of defender Inigo Martinez moving to Barcelona in the summer.

The rumor mill has been convinced the Catalans will go for the 31-year-old despite signing Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde recently.

There was also talk about a bid last summer but Uriarte says Barcelona have not been in touch to discuss the center-back.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone from Barça,” he said. “We are creating an environment where footballers can feel comfortable.

“He is going to play normally this season because he is a very important player. We would like him to be able to develop his sports career at Athletic. These issues, in any case, we deal with at home.

“I have no problem talking to the players in any renewal. If there is a footballer that we try to retain and he leaves, it will be a disappointment, not a failure because it also depends whether that person wants to stay or not, the salary capacity to compete and personal conditions.”

Source | Mundo Deportivo

Martinez’s contract expires next summer which means he will be able to walk away on a free transfer if he does not extend with the Basque side this season.

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