Liverpool have joined the race to sign Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez, reports the Metro.
Martinez has a growing list of suitors after impressing for both club and country in recent years, and was an intergral part of the Bilbao team that knocked Manchester United out of the Europa League earlier this month.
While United are said to be interested in snapping him up, Liverpool are reportedly ready to throw their hat into the ring for the 23-year-old’s services.
Martinez, who was part of the Spain squad that lifted the World Cup in 2010, was closely watched by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson during the Europa League tie and is reportedly a target for the Scot this summer.
However the Metro, quoting ‘reports in Italy’ suggests that Liverpool are willing to go up against their rivals to secure the services of the dynamic midfielder, however the Reds must also fight of the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan in order to secure his services.
Martinez is said to have a £34 million release-clause written into his contract, with the paper reporting that Liverpool are highly unlikely to be willing to meet that price.
United are believed to be willing to do business for around £24 million, although with Martinez contracted until 2016, Bilbao are under no pressure to sell come the end of the season.
Martinez himself has recently questiond the valuation places on him, admitting the he doesn’t value himself as a £34 million player.
"I do not think there's anyone who wants to pay so much for me," the player told Mundo Deportivo.
"I see it as too much money for me. I do not think I'm worth so much."
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