Man City to fight Barcelona for Puyol replacement – report

The Etihad Stadium outfit have been linked with an approach for highly rated Inigo Martinez, who is also a target for the Camp Nou side.

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has struggled to find a long-term central defensive partner for Vincent Kompany this season, with Matija Nastasic, Joleon Lescott and Martin Demichelis all accompanying the Belgian at one point or another.

As such, a new central defender is believed to be on top of the Etihad Stadium club’s summer wishlist.

Despite links to Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala, the latest defender to be rumoured as a City target is Inigo Martinez, with Tutto Mercato spreading the story.

The Real Sociedad centre-half has impressed for the La Liga side over the last 18 months and had a chance to play in the Champions League this season.

It is believed that the highly rated 22-year-old will be in demand this summer, with Barcelona also thought to be admirers.

The Catalan giants are in the market for a replacement for the outgoing Carles Puyol, with Martinez fitting the bill.

Real Madrid have also been mentioned as potential suitors in the past.

Martinez is thought to have a €30 million release clause written into his contract, with City set to do battle with the Spanish giants for the defender’s signature this summer.

City already have Spaniards Jesus Navas, David Silva and Alvaro Negredo at the club.

image: © benbore

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