Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez is reportedly moving back to Spain.
There are going to be a few changes in the midfield department at Bayern Munich this summer. The European champions are set to part ways with some experienced midfielders, opening up opportunities for younger players next season. The first midfield departure is likely to be Javi Martinez.
According to Marca, Martinez is close to sealing a move back to Athletic Bilbao. The Spanish media outlet reports that Die Roten has reduced the asking price to €10 million, helping Bilbao to bring back their former player.
Martinez has been consistently linked with a move to Bilbao in the past couple of seasons. He reportedly held talks with the Spanish side earlier this year. As per Marca, the former World Cup winner is set to sign a two-year contract with Bilbao with an option to extend it by a year.
Along with Bilbao, Martinez has been linked with numerous clubs in the past two months. Fiorentina showed interest in the veteran midfielder, while Rennes were also eager to bolster their squad by signing him after clinching Champions League qualification. He also admitted that he is keeping all options open ahead of a departure from Bavaria.
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It has been a frustrating campaign for Martinez. He has many players ahead of him in defense and midfield. However, when Hansi Flick was appointed as manager, he got few games in the starting lineup. A muscle injury at the end of 2019 halted the run, and since then, he has found it difficult to get games in Munich.
Martinez has enjoyed a lot of success during his eight-year stay in Bavaria. He did play an important role in the first treble win. His arrival gave Die Roten much-needed steel in the midfield to dominate the best clubs in Europe. During the second treble, he was a leader in the dressing room, but couldn’t make an impact by playing on the pitch. Nevertheless, he will go down as one of the best transfers Bayern has made this century.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitted last week that the German champions would not stand in Martinez’s way if an offer comes for him. Rekordmeister would have liked a higher fee since Martinez has few years left at the top. However, his contributions at the club over the past eight seasons meant that he gets the desired move.
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Adrian Fein is likely to replace Javi Martinez in the squad. The German midfielder is set to get opportunities in the first team after impressing during a loan spell at Hamburg. Apart from Martinez, Thiago Alcantara is also set to leave after rejecting a new contract offer from the club.