Barcelona have reportedly put in an offer for what would be the sixth centre-back in their squad.
The Catalan giants have had a busy summer with five new additions, including central defenders Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde.
Spanish publication Sport though have reported that the strengthening of their central defense has not ended there, as they have put in a £12million offer for Athletic Bilbao’s Inigo Martinez.
It’s said the bid was submitted on Tuesday night, as big-spending Barcelona look to continue their transfer splurge.
Martinez is out of contract next summer and Bilbao are hopeful they can sign the player to a new deal.
The 31-year-old though has rejected all advances from the club until now, as he looks for a fresh start elsewhere.
Despite Barcelona’s bid, it’s said that it remains unlikely that Bilbao will accept the offer as they stand more to lose the in the player than they do financially.
As well as Christensen and Kounde, Barcelona also have Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo and Samuel Umtiti who can all play at centre-back.
If they were able to pull off a move for Martinez, it could indicate a change of style for Xavi’s side.
Barcelona only have two natural full-backs – Sergino Dest and Jordi Alba – although Sergi Roberto has also played there before.
It’s possible therefore that Xavi could look to implement a back-three, if the club were to have a selection of six centre-backs to their disposal.
Martinez has made 159 appearances at Bilbao since joining the club from Real Sociedad in January 2018.
He has also made 19 appearances for the Spanish international team.
Barcelona have also signed Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich for £42.5m, Raphinha from Leeds for £55m and Franck Kessie on a free transfer this summer.
Players including Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay could be forced to leave the club, so Barcelona can register their new signings.