Arsenal Turn Attention To Javi Martinez

Arsenal have set their sights on Athletic Bilbao’s Javi Martinez.

wearethenorthbank.com understands that Arsene Wenger’s first choice defensive midfield target is Spain U21 Captain, Javi Martinez.

Arsenal are after a holding player to provide solidity to the midfield – especially when playing away from home – with scouts watching Yann M’Vila closely this season; but with interest from other clubs increasing, they are now looking to Martinez.

Scouts were present at the San Mames stadium last night to run the rule over the Spain international, who put in a competent performance in Athletic’s Europa League semi final win over Sporting Lisbon.

Martinez, 23, has been moved to centre back this season by Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa, but Arsenal – having followed Martinez’s progress since he broke into Bilbao’s first team in 2006 – see him as the player to anchor their midfield.

Wenger has been eager to strengthen this area of his squad and Martinez’s versatility appeals to him having failed in an attempt to sign Phil Jones from Blackburn last summer.

Martinez is contracted to Bilbao until June 2016.