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Barcelona make formal Athletic Bilbao approach for Martinez

Barcelona have made an approach to Athletic Bilbao for midfielder Javi Martinez.

Sport says Barca sports chief Andoni Zubizarreta made formal contact with Valencia last week about opening talks over a fee for Martinez.

Athletic's response remains to refer Barca to Martinez's €40 million buyout clause.

The Catalans have €26 million remaining in their transfer kitty after the capture of Valencia fullback Jordi Alba and will have to sell to make up the shortfall.

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