A reported deal to send Bayern München midfielder Javi Martinez back to Athetic Club appeared to be signed and sealed earlier in the week. To the surprise of many, Germany's Sport1 today reported that the 32-year-old made a late start for Budapest this morning to join his German Club in their encounter with FC Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup.
To the surprise of still more, Martinez was subbed on scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in Bayern's 2-1 extra-time defeat of Sevilla. What is the status of this transfer suddenly gone cold?
|Javi Martinez.||Photo: Rufus46/CC-by-SA 3.0|
Javi Martinez Aginaga now has two UEFA Super Cup goals to add to his already illustrious resumé. As many will surely recall, he scored the dramatic last minute equalizer in the 2013 edition that saw Pep Guardiola's Reds take Chelsea to penalties and eventually win.
Martinez was in his second season with the German giants back then; also the year Guardiola insisted upon bringing in Thiago Alcantara. When Alcantara himself parted company with the club last week, it seemed only a matter of time before his fellow veteran would be on his way after eight memorable seasons.
In Thursday's match against Sevilla, it was more extra time-heroics with an emphatic header in thew 104th. Does what just transpired mean anyone has changed their minds? Not very likely.
Spanish newspaper "Marca" reports that Martinez has agreed to terms with Bilbao, accepting a two-year-contract with an third-year-renewal option. Transfermarkt confirms that he has accepted a significant pay cut to re-sign, and ideally retire, with the club that offered him his first major contract as a 17-year-old.
Skysports has indicated that Athletic Club have expressed a wish to see the transfer fee lowered somewhat. German footballing magazine Kicker reported earlier today that sources inside Bayern were willing to accept €8 million instead of the hitherto arranged €10 million.
It would appear that some last-minute haggling took place before the ink could dry. Martinez still looks to be headed to his preferred destination, albeit with a larger smile on his face than he may have initially anticipated.