In what could be the juiciest transfer war yet – both Carlo Ancelotti and Sir Alex Ferguson are apparently pursuing 22-year old central midfielder Javi Martinez.
The Athletic Bilbao man has been playing at the top level since the tender age of seventeen, and although his overall strike rate (17 in 149) is not remarkable for a marauding midfielder, his displays have sometimes been compared favourably to those of his internationally-seasoned countrymen.
The 2009/10 La Liga season was arguably Martinez’ best, with 9 goals in 46 appearances, and as such, the interest in Martinez has increased twofold. Now a player of some value, he could be torn between Chelsea and Manchester United.
There is no doubt that Chelsea need a youth factor sooner rather than later, even born winners have to retire sometime. In the short term however, his first team opportunities for the champions would be somewhat limited, due to an already cohesive and potent array of midfielders capable in attack duties.
United are therefore seemingly the better option, and Martinez would certainly be welcomed with open arms by an under performing, injury-hit midfield.