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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, i'm new to these boards but have really enjoyed reading your posts over the last few months. You all do a great job keeping me up to date because its hard to find info on Athletic. I have been following Athletic for a while now, mainly because I think they're the only club left with any dignity in world football. The club is about more than greed and that's something to admire.

My question is this... in England, with the season coming to an end, the transfer rumours for the summer are flying around. Are any players being linked with Athletic, or any other Basque clubs, and if so how accurate are they?
 

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4 names often mentioned for 2 positions Caparrós wants to improve.

Natxo Monreal or Asier Del Horno for the leftback. Joseba Llorente or Kike Sola for the attack.

Asier Del Horno, 27, Valencia

As you probably know Athletic has a buying option for Del Horno this summer (3 million € which could increase to 4 or 5 depending on games played) but it's not likely to happen. Still, Athletic might ask for another loan or try to sign him if Valencia releases him on a free transfer or asks for few money.

The main problem are Asier's out of the pitch issues, certain injury prone in the last years and his excesive wages. Take in mind that he earns Valencia's salary top (around 1'6m € free from taxes) and he signed a 5 seasons contract 2 years ago. Athletic pays 50% of those wages and it's still quite a lot for the importance he's had this season in the team. He would have to reduce a lot of his wages to sign for Athletic, and for that maybe a long contract would be the solution but.. again, the problem of the injuries and external factors. But he's a home player.

Natxo Monreal, 22, Osasuna

Young and with a certain progression expected, being followed by more clubs than Athletic. He has a 12 million € rescision clause in Osasuna, think his price would be around 4-6 millions. You pay more than for Del Horno (counting than Del Horno might cost 0 or little money) but his wages would be clearly lower and he has more years of football ahead of him. He's not as established as Del Horno in Primera and he's not a home player.

Joseba Llorente, 28, Valladolid

According to some media he already has everything agreed with Villarreal but nothing is official, according to others he's told Athletic to wait until the season finishes. Not an spectacular striker but he guarantees goals. His rescision clause is of 5 millions and that's what will have to pay whoever wants him.

Kike Sola, 22, Osasuna

Showed some interesting details in his debut season last years (and some goals) and has confirmed them this one. Starter over people as Pandiani, Portillo or Dady. Has a good present and shows technicall and physicall details to think he might have a bright future. His rescision clause is of 6 millions and Osasuna is trying to renew him to increase it.


These are the 4 names which are currently mentioned when talking about Athletic & signings. Personally I think it's necessary to solve the leftback issue (Koi is doing well, but he alone is not enough... unless we trust in Casas) and about the striker .... I think we have to improve that position in comparisson to what we have now but maybe we don't need to sign anyone to do it... Well, it depends on how much we trust in Isma López, Ion Vélez, Ramos...
 

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About the players out....

Expósito is leaving on a free transfer (Numancia probably).
Aranzubia the same (Depor & Zaragoza interested).

Murillo or Prieto will probably leave.
Zubiaurre might be loaned.
Tiko has it difficult, even more with Gurpe back...
Espanyol might want Lafuente's loan again, specially since Kameni is close to Tottenham.

And, apparently Macua wants to improve the contracts of the rising stars, that is, Amorebieta, Javi Martínez, Llorente and Susaeta. All these have long contracts (til 2011 or 2012) and pretty high rescision clauses but their wages are low, at least compared to the rest of the starters. AS publishes today that Amorebieta earns the typicall contract a player promoted from BA has.
http://www.as.com/futbol/articulo/futbol-athletic-contacta-amorebieta-renovarle/dasftbpri/20080422dasdaiftb_30/Tes

From these the only priority I might see is to protect Javi's contract (24 millions -30 starting on 2010- isn't much for a player of his characteristics, age and position.) About the rest, it depends on the economic situation of the club, and how some of the current high contracts might be reduced/dissappear (Aranzubia, Etxebe, Orbaiz, Tiko, Yeste...) Amorebieta is well protected with his 30 millions clause and Llorente with his 30-50 one. I don't remember Susaeta's but think it's 24.

Still, I understand they deserve to have their wages according to their importance for the team, but I hope we don't make any crazy thing.
 

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For the attacking positions, Gaizka Toquero (Sestao), Iñigo Vélez (Murcia) and Joseba Del Olmo (Eibar), the last one more a left winger, are names who have also been mentioned, and clearly cheaper options.

Also, Igor Martínez is one of the few good players coming through Alavés' youth categories in the last years, together with Morgado. He could be an interesting signing, although by now just for Bilbao Athletic or to have him loaned.
 

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Also, Etxebe has said today that he wants to retire in Athletic in 2010, that's why he will ask Macua to renew for one more season his contract, which finishes in 2009. I guess there won't be problems for it to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for that Iribar... its hard to know what rumours are going around with Athletic. Do you think there's any chance that they would sign any Real Sociedad players if they fail to get promotion?
 

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About the players out....

Expósito is leaving on a free transfer (Numancia probably).
Aranzubia the same (Depor & Zaragoza interested).

Murillo or Prieto will probably leave.
Zubiaurre might be loaned.
Tiko has it difficult, even more with Gurpe back...
Espanyol might want Lafuente's loan again, specially since Kameni is close to Tottenham.
So, there must be some changes in defense line, I guess.:lick: It's sad to see Tiko and Aranzubia leaving the club. :moan:
 

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For the attacking positions, Gaizka Toquero (Sestao), Iñigo Vélez (Murcia) and Joseba Del Olmo (Eibar), the last one more a left winger, are names who have also been mentioned, and clearly cheaper options.

Also, Igor Martínez is one of the few good players coming through Alavés' youth categories in the last years, together with Morgado. He could be an interesting signing, although by now just for Bilbao Athletic or to have him loaned.
Knoert and myself saw Toquero score the winning goal for Sestao against Bilbao Athletic!
 

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What has happened with Murillo and Tiko? They seemed so popular in this forum five years ago.

The situation with Koikili and Del Horno has actually been good. We don't need Monreal, we already have one unexperienced player. I would also like to see Llorente, Sola can come later:)

But the most important thing is of course that we extend the contracts to our promising talent.
I would also rather see we try to succeed with Isma Lopez than buying Del Olmo or similar.
 

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del Horno might leave mellansnack.

Also,there have been some stupid rumours connecting Olympiakos with Capparros abd Valverde (especially the 2nd),but I am pretty sure they are just paper-talk.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Its a difficult one because Del Horno must prove he's worth a shirt next year and not only on reputation alone. Also, his wages are huge and if he ended up on the bench it would be a waste of money. The manager needs to be strong and back his judgement. Either Monreal is good enough as backup/competition or he goes with experience with Del Horno.

How likely is it that Amorebieta will move? In England they reckon Liverpool and Newcastle want him. Fair enough Liverpool would be tempting but Newcastle are not as big in England as Athletic are in Spain. They're a bit of a joke actually as their fans think they are enormous despite winning virtually nothing in their history!! If he went to them then it would be purely money influenced.
 

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I suppose with Newcastle they have a big fanbase and a big stadium as well and no doubt with Keegan back they'll think they can get into the Champions League in the next few seasons.

Can't see it happening though.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
They do have a large fan base but no larger than Athletics and as for the Champions League they'll finish no higher than Athletic this year and are way off the likes of Tottenham/Villa/Everton before you even get to the big four so are unlikely to feature in the next couple of seasons.

Amorebieta is better than that and I just think if he has to go it needs to be to a team that is going to challenge for titles (although ideally he'd be the rock around which a good Athletic team was built). Hopefully we'll offer him a good deal and make him stay (and improve).
 

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There's an article today about Amorebieta in El Correo, with the headline "The Premiership yearns for Amorebieta". It talks about the declare interest from Liverpool, Newcastle and Tottenham, and how United and Chelsea have also sent scouts to follow him.

Anyway, nothing too new I think, the article is HERE if anyone is interested. The first part describes the interest of the different clubs, I'm just going to translate the second part of the article, the one about him.

He doesn't want to leave

However, the red&white fans can be calmed. Amorebieta doesn't want to leave Athletic. "Every time they come with interest from other clubs I say I don't want to know anything about them. I don't want to leave. I can't be anywhere better than home. My only desire is that this team keeps on improving and fight in some years for a title".

The rescision clause imposed by Fernando García Macua when he renewed him at the beginning of the season until 2012 was dissuasive. Amorebieta's signing costs 30 million euros. The club sources asked by this newspaper ensure that the president stays inflexible on this aspect. He won't commit the mistake of negotiating the exit of important players, as happened with Asier Del Horno three years ago.

Said that, the president will talk with Amorebieta about his contract as soon as the season finishes. The board wanted to follow his sportive and personal progression. That's why he signed a contract with modest economical conditions. Now the board members are delighted with Amorebieta's attitude and his sportive performance. Macua considers him a key piece in his project. With an improvement in his economical conditions, there won't be any problem so the centerback continues in Athletic, the only place where he wants to triumph. The player has given his agent, Mikel Mendizabal, the order that any offer he receives is directly given to the club. He shows this way that he won't be the one taking the step to leave the club.


It is funny how selling Del Horno is suddenly considered a 'mistake' for El Correo, when they were the ones constantly pushing for his exit. Ahhh, they think we have no memory!
 

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Great news, Iribar!
Athletic players are the only proud ones in today's football. No wonder I rather like Athletic than Liverpool nowadays.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thats great news... thanks Iribar. His comments seem very definate and obviously he loves the club. It's very rare in a player these days! Lets hope the club offer him the deal he deserves.
 
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