Athletic Bilbao's Javi Martinez
Athletic Bilbao's Javi Martinez Reuters

If the latest reports are to be believed, North London-based Premiership giants Arsenal have targeted Spanish La Liga side Athletic Bilbao's young defensive midfielder Javi Martinez and are expected to make a bid for the player when the transfer window opens in summer.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is said to have sent scouts to monitor Martinez, 23, when Bilbao played out a 3-1 win over Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League where the player impressed as Marco Bielsa's side progressed to the final of the competition.

The Gunners are said to be on the lookout for a holding midfielder and the fact that Martinez can be used as both a defensive midfielder and a central defender has attracted Wenger's interest to land the player when the transfer window opens.

However, the Gunners are aware that the player could be a costly buy as the player has a $51.90 million (£32 million) buyout clause, according to a Daily Mail report.

Martinez, who arrived at Bilbao from rival La Liga side Osasuna in 2006, has made as more than 190 appearances for Los Leones and has also managed to score 23 times.