Real Sociedad centre-back Iñigo Martínez remains on the radar of Manchester City following a summer in which the Spaniard saw his name linked with the Premier League leaders as well as Juventus, AC Milan and Barcelona.

Spanish radio station Cadena Cope claims that Pep Guardiola is still closely monitoring his future and could consider meeting his €30m (£26.8m, $35.6m) release clause to lure him to the Etihad Stadium ahead of the 2018-2019 campaign.

The 26-year-old defender has been poised to make a step up to one of the European giants since making his first-team debut with the Basque side in 2011.

Liverpool were linked with his services during Brendan Rodgers' tenure at Anfield while in recent windows links with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona have also been constant.

It looked as though last summer was going to be his last at Anoeta after The Sun reported that Barcelona, City, Juventus and Milan were interested in luring him away from La Real.

The Daily Mail insisted later that Guardiola was keen on luring him to City due to his special ability to shape the game from the back-line.

Barcelona then emerged as the frontrunners to secure his services after Noticias de Gipuzkoa, Marca and several other Spanish publications claimed that the Catalans were ready to meet his clause

It was even said that Martinez had agreed a five-year-deal to join Barcelona after a personal request from new manager Ernesto Valverde to the board.

However, the deal finally fell through after the club changed their mind at the very last minute to give Thomas Vermaelen a new chance to resurrect his career by serving as a back-up for Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Javier Mascherano.

Reports in Spain in recent times have claimed that Valverde has not completely forgotten about Martinez with Barcelona still on the hunt for new centre-backs ahead of next season.

Vermaelen and Mascherano, 33, have both suggested that they will consider their futures at the Nou Camp in the summer after having played a peripheral role during the opening part of the season.

However, now radio station Cope claims that Martinez could instead finally join City with Guardiola considering triggering his release clause ahead of next season.

John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have been in an impressive form this season but the City boss is still expected to bolster the heart of the back-line further ahead of next season.

Stones is currently on the sidelines while Vincent Kompany has also missed a number of games this season amid further injury woes.

Iñigo Martínez
Iñigo Martínez was already heavily linked with a move away from Real Sociedad in the summer. Getty