Liverpool keen on capturing Sociedad centre back Inigo Martinez?
With Liverpool (14/1 with Coral to win the 2015/16 Premier League) looking set for disappointment in their race for a Champions League place, the Reds appear to have turned their attentions to the summer transfer window, and are said to be scoping out Real Sociedad star Inigo Martinez.
The highly-rated Spanish centre half is reportedly on beleaguered boss Brendan Rodgers’ radar, having impressed for boyhood club the Royals over four seasons.
Capped twice for La Roja, sought-after Martinez emerged from Sociedad’s ranks in 2011 and has been a mainstay ever since, making 149 appearances across all competitions.
Seen as one for Spain’s future, the 23-year-old centre back is full of potential but is considered somewhat of a rough diamond, as his style can sometimes appear rash.
At such a young age, inconsistencies can easily be ironed out, however, and Martinez’s full-blooded tackles, eagerness to take a shot from distance, drive and tenacity all bode well for a player who seems well suited to the Premier League.
Should the starlet hope to make in-roads into Spain’s squad and starting XI more regularly, a move to England to join a club challenging for cups could prove beneficial.
Currently honing his skills under ex-Everton and Manchester United boss David Moyes, Martinez may well move in the opposite direction to his gaffer and wind up on Merseyside himself. According to both Spanish and Italian press, a Reds representative watched the Royals’ recent defeat to Barcelona, to run the rule over the defender.
Martinez is believed to have a buyout clause of around £21m, so could be a brilliant bargain to boost Rodgers’ backline.
The Reds’ recent rearguard recruits, including former Southampton centre back Dejan Lovren and full back pair Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo, have come in for criticism, as Liverpool leaked 39 league goals in 36 games this campaign.
Often looking shaky at the back, the Merseyside men could do with refreshing their roster, as doubts remain over right back Glen Johnson, Ivory Coast international Kolo Toure and Slovakia star Martin Skrtel’s futures, while Mamadou Sakho’s long-term suitability can also be questioned.
Considering Rodgers’ ability to nurture youth, Basque Country-born Martinez would fit the bill as Liverpool look to make savvier buys this summer. Watch this space.