Aston Villa are reportedly interested in signing Athletic Club defender and La Liga veteran Inigo Martinez, a target for Barcelona.

Inigo Martinez is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. And Athletic Club have not managed to convince him regarding a contract extension. A report from El Desmarque claims that Aston Villa will face competition from clubs like Barcelona and Atletico Madrid as well.

The 31-year-old has been a proven performer in La Liga, and he could prove to be a quality short-term signing for Aston villa. The West Midlands club will have to add more quality at the back if they want to push for European qualification.

Inigo Martinez could thus prove to be a superb option for Unai Emery. The Spaniard has coached in Spain for a number of years, and he will have seen the 31-year-old closely. He will know all about Martinez’s strengths and weaknesses.

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The 31-year-old defender can operate as a centre-back as well as a left-back. And his versatility will be an added bonus for Emery and Aston Villa. Meanwhile, Barcelona certainly need to bring in another defender, especially after the departure of Gerard Pique.

Martinez has the quality, experience and leadership skills to replace the former Spain international. The Spanish international has thus emerged as a viable target for the Blaugrana. The opportunity to join Barcelona is likely to be a more tempting option for the player compared to Aston Villa.

Barcelona will be competing in the Champions League next season and could end up winning the Spanish league title this year. They are a far bigger club compared to Aston Villa and capable of winning major trophies.

That said, the Spanish giants are going through financial difficulties. And it remains to be seen whether Aston Villa can turn the player’s head by offering him a lucrative contract. Recent reports have also claimed that Barcelona have cooled their interest in the 31-year-old.

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Martinez will be aware of the fact that this could be his last big contract. And the opportunity to earn big money at Aston Villa and try out a new challenge in the Premier League could be an exciting option. It remains to be seen how the situation develops over the next few weeks. Signing a player like Martinez on a free transfer would be a coup for both Aston Villa and Barcelona.

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