Sale of Daniel Agger could push through deal for Spanish centre-back.
Liverpool are keeping tabs on the availability of Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez, as they face the possibility of Daniel Agger leaving the club, CaughtOffside understands.
The 22-year-old has emerged as one of the best young defenders in La Liga after his displays for Sociedad last season, as he helped the club earn a surprise fourth place finish.
The impressive centre-back is not far off a call-up for the senior Spanish national side, and has also been linked with a move to Barcelona this summer, though it is the Catalans’ interest in Liverpool’s Agger that could mean he ends up at Anfield.
The Spanish champions are thought to be stepping up their interest in the Denmark international, with Manchester City also interested in him. Barca have been keen to sign a top class centre-back all summer, but have so far failed in their attempts to land their top target David Luiz, who has had an enormous £50million price tag slapped on his head by Chelsea.
City are also keen to recruit a new defender, with some worrying displays at the back in pre-season. New manager Manuel Pellegrini has identified Real Madrid’s Pepe as his prime target, though he looks set to be disappointed in his attempts to lure the Portuguese centre-half from his old club, and could compete with Barcelona for Agger.
Liverpool have added Kolo Toure to their defensive numbers this summer, but the veteran Ivory Coast international is largely expected to play a backup role at the club this season, filling the void left by the retiring Jamie Carragher. With worries over Agger’s future, manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to have a replacement in mind in the event of his departure.
The former Swansea boss has already recruited well from La Liga this summer, bringing in Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo and youngster Luis Alberto from Sevilla, and has shown a fondness for bringing in talent from abroad on the cheap.
Martinez would represent another great coup by Rodgers, and would likely cost around £10million. The Spaniard has been a regular for the Basque side since 2011, and is a classy and intelligent reader of the game, making up for his relative lack of height.
Much depends on the future of Agger however, and for now Liverpool are known to be prioritising the transfer of Brazil forward Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala for around £30million, though they will likely have to fight off competition from Chelsea and Tottenham for the talented 25-year-old.