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Javi Passes Physical, Club Says He's a Bayern Player

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Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa
Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa

The beat rolls on in the purported Javi Martinez-to-Bayern transfer saga. When we left off, the young Spanish midfielder's move to FC Bayern was said (by Bild) to have been sealed. We even had photo evidence of his presence in Munich. At that point, the goal was that he would return to Spain, physically hand over his buy-out check to the Spanish authorities in Madrid, and then be clear to sign a contract with FC Bayern.

Today, no official confirmation, but two new pieces of news: first, we now understand that Javi has passed his medical, and that Bayern is therefore ready to put pen to paper. That's really just another level of formality, but an important one, because it demonstrated that both player and Bayern thought the deal was close enough to reality to show that they went through with it. And, it removes any possible last-second "he failed the physical exam!" drama.

The second bit of news is less auspicious: Bilbao claims that Javi was not authorized to travel to Munich, and that they consider him an Athletic Bilbao player. I guess I could see two possibilities behind this statement:

(1) They really want to kill the deal, and are going to try to say he was in "breach of contract" or away without leave or whatever, and therefore his buy-out should be rejected; or

(2) They will let him go, but just want to highlight the fact that they didn't let him leave willingly, that he forced his way out.

Probably the latter, because Athletic Bilbao has been trying to play up the "we want to keep him!" angle for the past 3 weeks. But they could still try to throw things off, so we're not ready to call Mr. Martinez a Bayern player yet. Stay tuned for the latest, and keep an eye on our twitter feed at http://twitter.com/BavarianFBWorks for any news. Thanks for reading.

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And an update already: FC Bayern's official twitter feed and site say Welcome Javi! I guess this is a done deal. We'll see what Athletic says, but it looks like this has finally gone through.