Barcelona closely monitoring 19-year-old Spanish wonderkid

Arnau Martinez of Girona FC during the La Liga SmartBank play off, Final match, first leg, between Girona FC and CD Tenerife played at Montilivi Stadium on June 11, 2022 in Girona, Spain.

La Liga heavyweights Barcelona are among the clubs reportedly tracking the progress of 19-year-old Spanish whizkid Arnau Martinez at Girona.

According to a report by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Arnau Martinez is the subject of interest from Barcelona over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The Catalan giants are closely monitoring the progress of the 19-year-old Spanish wonderkid at Girona.

Arnau Martinez is a native of Premia de Dalt and has spent his entire youth career in Catalonia. The teenage prodigy started at his hometown club CE Premia de Dalt before joining Barcelona in 2010 as a seven-year-old. But the youngster spent only six years at La Masia before joining CE L’Hospitalet in 2016.

The 19-year-old has come leaps and bounds since joining Girona in 2018, making swift progress in their youth setup before making his first-team debut in 2020. And the Spanish wonderkid was a pivotal figure for Girona in the recently-concluded campaign, as he turned out 42 times across all competitions while chipping in with two goals and six assists.

Martinez’s exploits helped Girona return to La Liga for the first time since 2019, and he could be set to join a bigger club. The teenager’s performances have captured the attention of several clubs, with Barcelona among his prospective suitors heading into the summer transfer window.

Barcelona will invest in a right-back in the summer transfer window after Dani Alves announced that he would be departing from Camp Nou for the second time upon the expiration of his contract. Alves’s exit will leave Xavi Hernandez with Sergi Roberto and Sergino Dest as the recognised right-backs at his disposal.

But with neither player being a convincing option, Barcelona’s need to sign a right-back has become urgent. As a result, Cesar Azpilicueta is Barcelona’s priority target for the summer transfer window. But signing the Chelsea captain seems to be an uphill task for the Blaugrana, with Juan Foyth emerging as an alternative.

Martinez has now popped up on Barcelona’s radar as an intriguing option to bolster the right-back berth. While the conventional wisdom would suggest that he will first play for Barcelona B, it will not be surprising to see the Spanish wonderkid turn out for the first team straight away. 

But Girona might look to keep hold of the 19-year-old for another season before possibly selling him.

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