Marca claims that the versatile Spain midfielder-defender, who joined Bayern Munich for £32 million in acrimonious circumstances at the end of August, turned up at the Lezama complex at around 2am on Saturday morning, vaulted a fence and tried to gain entrance to his old place of work.
Martinez was spotted by a security guard who, fearing a burglary was in progress, confronted him and was shocked to find the former Athletic man trying to gain access to the first-team changing rooms.
As one would expect out of hours, all buildings at the Basque club’s training ground were locked, so Martinez then had to suffer the embarrassment of asking his captor for the keys.
However, Martinez’s old locker had been cleared out and he only able to find one pair of boots, with the rest of his personal effects apparently under lock and key in another inaccessible building.
That Martinez would not have collected his belongings prior to his move to Bayern is of no surprise – it was a protracted deal only agreed on August 29 after Bayern relented to Athletic’s demands that they meet a 40m euro buyout clause.
Martinez had already travelled to Bayern for a medical, against the Europa League finalists’ wishes, and commenced training with the Bundesliga giants as soon as the transfer was completed, meaning his return to Spain during the international break was the first time he would have had the opportunity to visit his former employers.
However, the manner of Martinez’s attempted retrieval is bizarre – while he has not spoken to club officials since forcing the move, they would almost certainly have agreed to return his belongings, while his Spain team-mates could just as easily have handed them over at La Roja’s training camp.
Martinez does, however, have form for unusual behaviour since it became apparent many of Europe’s top clubs were interested in his services – a farcical attempt to disguise himself with an umbrella while escaping Spain for talks with Bayern did not go unnoticed.
It is also not the first time unusual goings-on have been associated with the Basque club – after wowing the continent with their run to last season’s Europa League final, eccentric coach Marcelo Bielsa had a public and unsavoury fall-out with building contractors at the same Lezama training ground after returning for pre-season to find work still in progress.
Both Martinez and Fernando Llorente were dropped from the first team for the opening matches of the Liga season, with the latter refusing to sign a new contract with one year remaining on his current deal.