Sat. Jun 19th, 2021

Roca the boat

In a surprise twist Espanyol’s Marc Roca looks set to join Bayern Munich in a deal which could see the Catalan club receive €15 million.

Spanish outlet Diario Sport have reported the German Champions have an agreement in place with the relegated Spanish side. Bayern had shown previous interest in 2019 but his €40 million release clause was deemed too steep.

Roca was a standout in a poor Espanyol side that was eventually relegated from La Liga. Just one season after having qualified for the Europa League.

Coming through the youth ranks in Barcelona, Roca broke into the Espanyol first team in 2016. He has represented the Spanish national side up to under-21 level. The move to Germany could see a push for a senior cap.

Roca had looked as if he would be joining Atletico Madrid at one point but now appears to have made the decision to leave his homeland.

The replacement

Whilst Roca has been on Bayern’s radar for some time, it appears opportunistic that his arrival coincides with the possible departure of another Spaniard turned Bavarian.

Javi Martinez joined Bayern in 2012 after the German side paid the €40 million release clause. Athletic Club displaying again their nous at selling expertly.

Now 32-years-old, minutes have been increasingly hard to come by for the Spaniard and it is reported Martinez is itching for game time.

Bayern’s midfield currently contains Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Corentin Tolisso and now soon-to-be new signing Roca.

Joshua Kimmich

AUGSBURG, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 15: Joshua Kimmich of FC Bayern Muenchen reacts after the Bundesliga match between FC Augsburg and FC Bayern Muenchen at WWK-Arena on February 15, 2019 in Augsburg, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

In addition to youngsters Adrian Fein and Michael Cuisance – the latter of which who’s move to Leeds broke down recently.

This congested pack of players leaves bleak hope for Martinez. Reportedly an emotional return to Athletic Club could be on the cards.

Returning to the Basque country would certainly cap off an incredible career which still has many years left.

See also: Pep Guardiola’s agent confirms Spaniard set to stay at Manchester City

Mauricio Pochettino primed to become Barcelona manager amid rumour Man City could sign Leo Messi