Javier Martinez has completed his transfer from Athletic Bilbao to FC Bayern. The Spain international sealed the deal on Wednesday afternoon by concluding the formalities of cancelling his contract with the Basque club, obtaining clearance for the switch from the Spanish FA (RFEF) and league association (LFP), and signing his new five-year contract, keeping him in Munich until 30 June 2017.
Martinez passed the obligatory pre-transfer medical in the early hours of Wednesday morning at the Munich practice of FCB chief medical officer Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt. He flew to Madrid later in the morning to finalise arrangements with the FA and league body. “I'm very happy and really looking forward to playing for a club with this extraordinary history," the 23-year-old told FCB.tv, “I've had to wait a long time for this, but the waiting is over at last."
The capture of the 1.90 metre defensive midfielder had been “very complicated, because Athletic Bilbao refused to cooperate from the very first day," revealed FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, “so we're even more delighted now that Javi Martinez has finally joined us. We've had tax and legal problems to solve over the last few days, but fortunately we've succeeded."
Martinez’ Spanish contract included a €40 million buyout clause, which ultimately made it possible for FCB to sign the 23-year-old. “Obviously it's a very large sum," said Rummenigge, “but the player has made an indirect contribution by foregoing a large sum of his salary. Our management is convinced the player will do very well with us."
The chairman also heard nothing but good things about Martinez from a personal conversation with Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, who named the versatile defender in his trophy-winning squads for the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012. “He said we should look forward to having this player, because he'll make us an even better footballing side," Rummenigge reported.
Aiming for silverware
Martinez will be officially unveiled at Bayern on Thursday. “The coach has to decide whether he's ready for the squad this weekend," commented Rummenigge. The star signing is the second Basque native to join Munich and, the chairman said, shares many characteristics with former world-class left back Bixente Lizarazu: “He's a big personality, he imposes his authority, and he already has a strong affinity with FC Bayern, as he’s impressively demonstrated in recent days."
The player himself is raring to go with his new club: “Bayern are one of the best teams in Europe and the whole world. There are so many top players here, all of them fantastic footballers. That’s hugely motivating for me. And naturally, I'm looking to win trophies," Javi said.