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Athletic Bilbao's Javi Martinez aware of transfer speculation, but always wanted to remain at San Mames.

Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez has admitted that there had been interest in him from established clubs during the summer transfer window, but that he always stated his desire to remain at San Mames.

The World Cup-winning midfielder has been the subject of speculation linking the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool with moves for the promising 22-year-old, but Martinez has stayed put.

Speaking to journalists this morning, los Leones’ starlet has claimed it was always his intention to stay at the Basque club, saying: “I know that there has been some interest from other teams, but I’ve always said that I wanted to stay here.

“I feel very valued here, both by the club and the fans. Playing for Athletic is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me, and if something is right, I feel no need to change it.”

Martinez broke into the Athletic Bilbao first-team in 2006, and is closing in on 150 club appearances despite his young age. Both he and team-mate Fernando Llorente were part of La Furia Roja’s victory in South Africa during the summer.

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