Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has revealed that the club has been given the “green light” by its governing board to pursue the signing of Javi Martinez from Athletic Bilbao.
The Spain international midfielder has long been linked with a move to the Allianz Arena, as the Bavarian giants look to bolster their midfield options ahead of the new domestic and European campaign.
Hoeness’ comments signal an impending end to one of the summer’s longest running transfer sagas, with Bayern set to meet the 23-year-old’s €40million release clause in order to complete the deal.
“The board has given the green light, and in the coming days we will tell if the transfer is done or not,” Hoeness explained to Sportbild.
Barcelona had made the player a transfer priority at the end of last season, but were reluctant to meet his buy-out clause, while Spanish tax laws would have forced the Blaugrana to pay around €7m extra for the transfer.
Bayern had also been cautious about spending big money, but appear to be in pole position to sign Martinez, with Hoeness hoping to come to a financial agreement with Bilbao, who have stood firm to their valuation of the player.
“The coach and the sporting director are convinced that he [Martinez] will solve our problems. The sporting decision has been made, but now we have to find an economic solution. I will be pleased if it comes off.”
Javi Martinez, who can also play as a central defender, has made over 200 appearances for the Bilbao first team, while winning eight caps for his country.