Arsenal and Manchester City are reportedly watching Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez very closely, according to reports in German publication Bild.
The Spanish international enjoyed a dream debut season at Bayern after signing for a club-record £35 million in 2012, helping the German giants win a historic treble. However, his place in the team has been less assured under Pep Guardiola this year, making only 17 league appearances.
The report states that the 25-year-old is becoming increasingly frustrated at his bit-part role and has held talks with his agent, Margarita Garay, where he’s understood to have discussed the possibility of leaving this summer.
It further states that Arsenal, as well as Manchester City, are in the market for a defensive midfielder and are keeping an eye on Martinez’ situation.
The midfielder is the most expensive signing for Bayern but he has not been properly used by Guardiola. He has frequently played in central defence, a position he can play but doesn’t prefer, especially when a season ago he was a regular starter in central midfielder under Heynckes.
He is a tall, powerful and versatile player who is capable at playing either central midfielder or centre-back. He can start attacks as well as break opponents down, he is also a tackler who is tough on the field. He is gifted when it comes to playing the ball and is a prototypical modern day Spanish midfielder who can play his way out of trouble, knock it short or hitting it long with unerring accuracy.
The Gunners have struggled to find an effective physical presence to both shield the Arsenal defence and give advanced players the freedom to create. Wenger has turned to Mikel Arteta to fill that role in the past two seasons and while the former Everton man has gamely adapted to a new role, the Spaniard still lacks the power to break up attacks. Providing that force won’t be a problem for Martinez.
Wenger wanted to bring in Martinez when he was at Athletic Bilbao but was unwilling to meet his release clause, a fee that Bayern Munich were happy to fork out. It remains to be seen whether the French manager will be willing to fork a similar amount now.
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