Manchester City: Guardiola could have Arnau Martinez transfer advantage
Manchester City hold one significant advantage in the race to sign Girona right-back Arnau Martinez, according to a report from Spain.
The Lowdown: Man City’s options at right-back
Pep Guardiola has given increased game-time to Rico Lewis this season, with the youngster making eight appearances in the Premier League, while the City manager also has stalwart Kyle Walker at his disposal.
He was hailed as ‘exceptional‘ by his Guardiola earlier in the campaign but he is now 32, and City need to start thinking about long-term options in that area of the pitch, with Martinez now emerging as a potential signing.
The Latest: City hold advantage in Martinez race
According to reports from Spain, both City and Barcelona are interested in the 19-year-old right-back, who has a release clause of €20m (£17.5m) included in his contract.
However, the Cityzens could end up winning the race for his signature due to the fact that Girona are also under the City Football Group umbrella, which could make a deal far easier for the Premier League champions to orchestrate.
The Verdict: Get it done
With Lewis impressing since he entered the first-team picture, being described as ‘fantastic‘ by Guardiola on BT Sport earlier this season, there is no immediate need to bring in Martinez, although it would be wise to sign him and duly loan back out to continue his development.
Football talent scout Jacek Kulig has waxed lyrical about the 19-year-old, hailing him as a ‘jewel’ with ‘excellent technique’. He offers a constant threat on the front foot, placing in the 85th percentile for touches in the opposition penalty area per 90 in the past year among positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues.
In his team’s recent 1-0 defeat to Barcelona, the Spaniard also showcased his defensive qualities by making four tackles, twice as many as any other Girona player.
City are lucky to be blessed with strength in depth at right-back, but the Spanish starlet would still be a very good signing, especially considering his modest release clause.