Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez has become the most expensive Spanish defender after Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao completed his signing by paying his 32 million euro release clause. The transfer eclipses the 27 million euros Real paid Sevilla for Sergio Ramos back in 2005, and also makes the 26 year old Athletic’s record transfer signing.
Athletic are allowed to sign only Basque players and have used the money from Aymeric Laporte’s 57 million pound sale to Man City to fund a transfer that is sure to add more spice to the next Sociedad-Bilbao derby.
Real Sociedad’s current sporting director, Lorenzo Juarros, also made the move from Sociedad to Athletic back in the late 80’s, a then record for a Spanish player.
Martinez has signed a five and a half year contract and his release clause has been put at 80 million euros.
Martinez was linked with Barcelona previously, but the move didn’t work out, and was also reportedly a target for Man City before they settled on Laporte. Like Aymeric, he is also a left footed central defender, and so fits the void left by the former’s departure perfectly.