Reports have emerged that Liverpool scouts were in the Nou Camp stands to watch Barcelona’s clash with Real Sociedad this past weekend, to run the rule over Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez.
The 23-year-old centre-back could be the latest man Brendan Rodgers places his trust in to shore up the Anfield backline, but has a number of obstacles standing in his way before that can happen.
First, is the Basque side’s manager, David Moyes, who may not be able to bring himself to enter into transfer business with a club he fought against vehemently during his long career as Everton manager.
Second is the fact that Martinez has been a fixture in the White and Blues defence since emerging from the youth ranks to make his first-team debut in 2011.
Since then, the one-cap international has made 120 all-competition appearances for his hometown club, scoring 12 goals in that time and rising through the national ranks.
Considering Liverpool’s dire record with integrating their young centre-back purchases into the starting XI (see Tiago Ilori and Sebastian Coates for examples), Martinez may consider a switch to Anfield as a dangerous one where his career is concerned.
There’s a simple way for Rodgers, who is 4/9 to guide Liverpool to victory over Crystal Palace next time out, to hurdle all these obstacles though.
Martinez has a release clause of £21.7m written into his current Sociedad contract, which the Northern Irishman may see as mere loose change considering he has paid £18m for Mamadou Sakho and £20m for Dejan Lovren of late.
Although the former has settled into a decent top-flight defender, the latter’s struggles are the main reason Rodgers is back on the centre-back hunt. Maybe Martinez is the answer.
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