Emirates Stadium side target midfielder.
Arsenal target Martinez thinks asking price too high
Athletic Bilbao starlet Javi Martinez insists that he is not worth the €40 million transfer fee that is being reported in the Spanish media.
Martinez, 23, is viewed as one of the brightest prospects in La Liga and has been tipped to make an impact on the international stage as well. Reports have suggested that Barcelona are keen to replace the ageing Seydou Keita with him in the summer, but the midfielder does not think he is worth the release clause in his contract.
“I do not think there’s anyone who wants to pay so much for me,” he told Mundo Deportivo. “I see it as too much money for me. I do not think I’m worth so much; I do not think that I’m worth €40m.”
Of course Javi Martinez is spot on, £33.5m is far to high a price to fork out for his services, but that is not to say that the Spanish international wouldn’t be a very smart acquisition for Arsene Wenger to consider making. The 23 year old has become one of the most consistent performers in La Liga and after six seasons as an Athletic Bilbao regular the time may be right for the midfielder to consider moving on.
Martinez has racked up just under 200 appearances for his San Mames side but like all major Bilbao stars the rangy midfielder has been strongly linked with a move away from a club that he may well have outgrown, much like his team-mates Fernando Llorente and Iker Muniain.
Arsenal could well do with a player of his type, who has the dual abilities of a defensive and attacking midfielder, but clearly the North London side are not known for their crazy spending and the Gunners are unlikely to more than double their record transfer spend to bring in the 6ft 3in battler.
The powerfully built central midfielder would indeed suit the Premier League and a move to Barcelona may well tempt Martinez ahead of any Premier League option but one would have to wonder if the big Bilbao man would be a first team regular at the Nou Camp.
Wenger has players with grit and determination, such as Alex Song and Emmanuel Frimpong and the Arsenal boss has the guile and creativity from the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta but the Frenchman may well have been tempted by Martinez’s ability to fulfill both roles fairly effectively.