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Action movie filmed at Upton Park

The Toe Poke

Martinez completes Bayern move

Spanish midfielder Javi Martinez has completed a German record transfer to Bayern Munich from Athletic Bilbao.

• Blog: Willkommen zu Bayern

Reports said Martinez, 23, successfully completed his medical tests at 02.44 BST after the release clause of €40 million release clause was met by the German giants following tough negotiations.

"I am very happy and looking forward to playing for a club with such a history," Martinez told Bayern Munich's official TV channel. "It was a long wait. But finally it's over."

In a statement on the Bayern Munich website Bayern director of sports Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: "It was complicated from day one, as there was no team play with Athletic Bilbao. But we are all the happier that Javi Martinez at long last has joined us. We had to solve taxing and legal problems over the last few days. The good news is we succeeded."

Rummenigge admitted it was "a high fee" but that the player would indirectly take a share in the €40 million spent. Reportedly Martinez has agreed on a salary cut of up to €2 million per year.

The Martinez transfer speculation became a saga soon after it was first reported by Bild two weeks ago. Bayern legends had plenty to say, with comments by Franz Beckenbauer ranging from "he'd form a fantastic duo with Schweinsteiger" to "we don't need the player".

Earlier on Wednesday, Athletic caused confusion by posting the following statement on their website: "Athletic Club wants to state that at no moment did it authorise the journey of its player Javier Martinez to Munich on 28 August. To see how it should react, Athletic Club has asked for an explanation from the player, who remains under their control."

However, it now appears that the deal has been done, eclipsing the previous German transfer record, also set by Bayern when they signed Mario Gomez from Stuttgart for a reported €33 million.


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