Barcelona are ready to blow Arsenal out of the water in the battle to sign Javi Martinez with a £30million-plus bid for the unsettled Bayern Munich defender at the end of the season.

With Lars Bender insisting he will remain with Bayer Leverkusen next season, Arsenal have been alerted to Martinez's possible availability and are believed to have enquired about him.

The 25-year old, who can operate as a midfield anchor man or centre half, has become increasingly disillusioned with a lack of starting opportunities under Pep Guardiola and is seriously thinking about leaving the Allianz Arena.

It is understood Barcelona are figuring most prominently in his thoughts after he was made aware they see him as the ideal candidate for a defence that has been short of numbers and quality this season, following a hip problem for Gerard Pique and series of niggling injuries that forced Carles Puyol to announce he will quit the Nou Camp this summer.

Martinez is viewed as a Barca-style centre back, with his natural defensive instincts supplemented by an ability on the ball that allows him to function so effectively in midfield.