Aaron Martin
Aaron Martin has a €30m release clause in his contract. Getty


  • Both Premier League clubs are said to be monitoring the 20-year-left back ahead of a potential future move.
  • Barcelona and Real Madrid were also linked with his services during the summer transfer window.

Spain Under-21 international Aaron Martin is flattered by reports linking him with Manchester United and Manchester City but the Espanyol left-back suggests that his future still lies with the Barcelona-based side.

Martin, 20, has garnered a reputation as one of the most promising left-backs inEurope since being handed his first-team debut by manager Quique Sanchez Flores in October 2016.

The Spaniard has established himself as a regular starter for the La Liga side despite his age and is also the first-choice left-back for manager Albert Celades in the Under-21 Spanish national team.

In January Espanyol rewarded him following his impressive rise into the top flight by handing him a new deal until 2022, setting his release clause at €30m (£26.7m, $35.5m) until the end of the season 2017-2018 and €40m from 30 June 2018.

However, the contract has not warded off potential suitors and reports linking him with a bigger club have been regular since then.

In March The Sun reported Manchester City and Real Madrid were closely monitoring his development with both Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane keen on bolstering their left-back options during the summer transfer window.

Los Blancos indeed signed Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid to cover the role while City recruited Benjamin Mendy from Monaco.

Later Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo reported that Manchester United scout Toni Lima had been at Cornella El Prat Stadium for a number of games to run an eye over both the Espanyol sensation and his teammate David Lopez.

Meanwhile, in the summer Catalan radio station RAC 1 reported that Barcelona also made an enquiry to sound out whether he would consider a move to the Nou Camp.

Martin finally stayed at Espanyol but the reports linking him with a move away to one of the European giants have not ceased.

Last month ESPN reported that Manchester United once again sent scouts to run the rule over the Spanish Under-21 international during Espanyol's goalless La Liga draw with Levante.

Jose Mourinho is said to be on the hunt for a new left-back with Luke Shaw having failed to make the impact expected since his big money move from Southampton in the summer of 2014.

Reports in Spain have claimed that City are also still closely monitoring the situation with Guardiola expecting to be without Mendy for several months after the Frenchman ruptured his cruciate ligament in September.

Martin admits that knowing both Manchester clubs are keeping an eye to his development is a pleasure but he adds that his mind is currently focused on Espanyol.

"It's flattering knowing that other teams follow you but I only think of Espanyol; I'm very happy to be here," Martin said in a press conference when asked specifically how the interest from both Manchester clubs has affected him.

"I have been playing for a year in the top flight. I feel very comfortable with my teammates and they help me a lot like the coach and that makes me feel better every year.

"I am focused on playing every week well, helping the teammates and doing a good job I work every day to be able to play every weekend. I try to work as hard as I possibly can in the training sessions and it is the manager who decides who plays. I need more intensity and it's an aspect that I have to improve.

"I'm still the same guy [than before being promoted to the first-team]. The success is not going to my head. I am keeping my feet on the ground. I keep working every day to convince the manager to play me. I think I have improved in defence [since last season]."