Inigo Martinez
Martinez has shown he has the potential to be a future European talent. REUTERS

English champions Manchester United, reportedly, have emerged as favorites to lure away Spanish La Liga side Real Sociedad’s young center-back Inigo Martinez, according to the Spanish media.

Martinez, 20, who has been regarded as a talented player by his current club, is already being monitored by scouts from different clubs both from Spain and Europe, and now United are believed to be heading the race to bring the young player to Old Trafford.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, with current rumored targets, has made it clear that he is planning for a future without expert defensive duo Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, and although the English club have brought in a host of youngsters like Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans, the inclusion of Martinez as a defensive prospect looks more likely to be on the cards.

Martinez, who is under contract with Sociedad until 2015, has also drawn attention from Premiership club Liverpool, as well as La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, according to an report.

Inigo Martinez Berridi, who is becoming a regular in the Spanish U-21 team, made his debut for Sociedad’s first team this season, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 away win against Sporting de Gijon.