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Martinez could extend Levante contract

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By David Redshaw

Thursday 19 April 2012

Levante President Quico Catalan has held preliminary talks with boss Juan Ignacio Martinez about extending his contract before the start of next season.

Martinez, or JIM as he is nicknamed, has a clause in his current agreement that allows him to leave for less than €1m, according to Superdeporte, and Catalan is naturally worried that he could be tempted by big-money offers from other clubs, particularly since a number of English outfits are rumoured to have checked on his progress this season.

However, the 47-year-old is happy at the Ciutat de Valencia and has every intention of remaining with Los Granotas, following a historic year that has seen the highest point in Levante’s history reached at this stage of the season. Nonetheless, despite Catalan frequently insisting Martinez is under contract when asked, there has been no gesture until now apart from what has been written in black and white.

Despite the delicacy of the situation neither side is intent on breaking the contractual link between them, especially since both are aware that the stakes are high in the remaining five games of the season, when Levante could quite possibly qualify for the Champions League.

While even Europa League qualification would not change the club’s planning too much, the €18m that could be gained from playing in Europe’s premier competition, while not budgeted for, would considerably loosen the purse strings and Martinez could look forward to strengthening his squad over the summer months.

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