Bayern Munich win race for Bilbao star Martinez

Manchester United and Manchester City have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Athletic Bilbao star Javi Martinez after it was revealed he is on the verge of joining Bayern Munich.

A close Squeaky Bum Time source has told us that the Spain international will snub interest from the Premier League duo join the German giants in the summer.

Bayern are set to overhaul their squad following their Champions League final defeat to Chelsea in May and want Martinez to spearhead a new era at the Allianz Arena as they look to quickly tie up the £25 million deal.

Both City and United have been tracking the 23-year-old for some time and were expected to firm up their interest after he returned from representing his country at the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

However it’s emerged that they have lost out to Munich in the race for his signature and will have to look elsewhere for defensive reinforcements ahead of the new season.

Red Devil’s boss Sir Alex Ferguson was impressed by Martinez, who can also operate as a holding midfielder, during their Europa League defeat to Bilbao in March and planned on making a bid after Euro 2012 had concluded.

He was also scouted by newly crowned champions City during the Spanish Cup final defeat to Barcelona last month with manager Roberto Mancini seeing the 6ft 3in former Spain under-21 skipper as the ideal partner for captain Vincent Kompany.

The Catalan side were also thought to be weighing up a bid although speculation has since cooled following the appointment of Tito Vilanova as Pep Guardiola’s successor at the Nou Camp.

United also look like they will miss out on Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric after it emerged La Liga champions Real Madrid are preparing a £30 million bid for the Croatian international.

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