Big-spending Real ‘eyeing Bilbao star Martinez’
Real Madrid, who failed to win a title last season despite a massive spending spree, are hoping to snag rising star Javier Martinez of Athletic Bilbao to boost their fortunes, a news report said.
Madrid: Real Madrid, who failed to win a title last season despite a massive spending spree, are hoping to snag rising star Javier Martinez of Athletic Bilbao to boost their fortunes, a news report said.
Sports daily AS said Friday Real are ready to pay 30 million euros to buy out the contract of the 21-year-old midfielder, one of three uncapped players in Spain’s squad for the World Cup.
It said Martinez would be an ideal partner for ex-Liverpool playmaker Xabi Alonso at the club.
In addition, Real appear ready to dispense with several of their current midfielders such as France’s Lassana Diarra, Mali’s Mahamadou Diarra and Argentine Fernando Gago, AS said.
Real splashed out more than 250 million euros on new talent last year, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka, but failed to pick up any silverware.
They finished runners-up to arch rivals Barcelona in the league, exited the Champions League at the last-16 stage and spectacularly crashed out of the King’s Cup to third division Alcorcon.
The Spanish media have predicted coach Manuel Pellegrini will be axed after just one season and replaced by Inter Milan’s Jose Mourinho, who is incredibly popular in Madrid after eliminating Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.