Arsenal have made an enquiry for Bayern Munich defender Javi Martinez and are prepared to make a move in the summer, according to reports in the Telegraph.
The Spanish midfielder joined the German giants for £32.8 million in 2012 and after initially settling in well under the stewardship of Jupp Heynckes, he has struggled to find his feet under Pep Guardiola.
The report states that the Gunners have already made initial contact with Bayern about the 25 year old, who is unhappy with his role under the new boss and wants a move away from the Allianz Arena at the end of the season. It further states that Arsenal are also keeping tabs on Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender, who should be available for around £25 million.
Few reports earlier in the week suggested that Martinez has held talks with his agent, Margarita Garay, where he has reportedly discussed the possibility of leaving this summer. He has three years left on his current contract and Bayern are likely to command a fee in in excess of £30 million for him.
The defensive midfielder has recently revealed that he is not happy with his current position at Bayern but is willing to work under Guardiola’s instructions. He said:
I don’t have as much freedom on the field anymore. I don’t get forward as often and my game is a little more static. The coach [Guardiola] believes that I can play in any of the central positions and I’ll play where I’m needed.
He has found himself often transformed into a central defender over the past couple of years despite having started his career as a holding midfielder, but Wenger is keen on reverting him back to type and taking over the role shielding his defensive line. He has a wealth of experience at the top level as he has been a Champions League, Bundesliga and World Cup winner at the age of just 25.
He could prove the perfect signing for the Gunners, as he can play both as a tough-tackling holing midfielder or can drift into the centre of defence. His versatility would be useful to Arsenal, with Thomas Vermaelen possibly on his way out, the Spaniard could provide vital cover at centre-half.
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He will be a perfect replacement for Arteta, who hasn’t been great at times this season and was a major reason behind Arsenal’s failure to break down big teams away from home. However, Martinez combines Arteta’s passing ability with some steel in the middle of the park, a rare combination.
Martinez wouldn’t come cheap, but then world-class footballers rarely do and if Arsenal can snatch the Spaniard away from Munich, they will have strengthened their midfield considerably.
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