Real Madrid's Gareth Bale fights for the ball with Real Sociedad's Inigo Martinez during their La Liga soccer match at Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian April 5, 2014
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale fights for the ball with Real Sociedad's Inigo Martinez during their La Liga fixture     Reuters

Real Madrid have earmarked Real Sociedad defender Iñigo Martinez as a back-up option in case Pepe or Raphael Varane are sold, according to reports in Spain.

The 23-year-old came up through the club's youth system before moving to Sociedad's B team in 2009. He impressed during those two years with the B team, which earned him a place in the Spanish side's first team – he has reportedly attracted interest from several clubs like Manchester United and Manchester City after a great season.

According to Marca, Real have been in contact with Martinez's representatives to register their interest in acquiring the player's services. Talks with the Spaniard's agents started in December to iron out contractual details believed to be €3m per season with a €30 release clause.

Los Blancos have been clear they are willing to bet on Martinez and force his transfer if Pepe or Raphael Varane are sold. But it will not be easy because Real Sociedad are not going to let their best defender go without a fight, as it happened with Asier Illarramendi - so the Basque club will drive a hard bargain.

It was also recently rumoured that Manchester City had reignited their interest in centre-back Pepe to be paired alongside Vincent Kompany.

Meanwhile, Varane is reportedly considering reuniting with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea this summer after the impressive partnership forged by Pepe and Sergio Ramos curtailed his appearances at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Martinez has been a regular inclusion in Sociedad's back-four and has started in 28 league games this season, scoring two goals in the process. He was also an integral part of Spain's defence which won the UEFA European U21 Championship in 2013.