Barcelona officially announced the addition of Inigo Martinez, a defender, who joined the club on a free transfer following the conclusion of his contract with Athletic Bilbao. The 32-year-old Spanish international signed a contract that will keep him at Barcelona until 2025, aligning with the club’s recent strategy of recruiting experienced players without any transfer fees.
“(Martinez) will sign for two seasons, until June 30 2025, and will have a 400 million euro ($435 million) release clause,” said the Spanish champions in a statement.
In a similar fashion, Barcelona recently acquired Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan last week, as well as Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie after their contracts expired last summer. This approach allows the Catalans to strengthen their squad with talented players at minimal cost.
Before moving to Barcelona, Martinez spent seven seasons in La Liga with Real Sociedad and subsequently joined Athletic Bilbao in January 2017. His transfer to Athletic involved a club-record fee of 32 million euros ($35 million).
During his time with Athletic Bilbao, Martinez made 177 appearances, netted eight goals, and achieved notable milestones such as winning the Spanish Super Cup in 2021 and reaching two Copa del Rey finals.