There was a lot of drama on Friday when it was announced that Athletic Club had paid the release clause for Osasuna’s Jesus Areso. The Pamplona-based club responded by issues a public announcement in which it condemned Athletic for abusing their power and showing sarcasm during transfer negotiations. Osasuna ended their statements by saying that they have officially ended their relationship with Athletic and will no longer negotiate for any transfers.
Not long after Osasuna issued their statements, Athletic Club published a thorough response to the allegations. To begin with, Athletic stated that they “Expressly reject the absolutely untrue allegations of abuse of power and sarcasm, having acted with total transparency and respect towards Osasuna during the process os signing Jesus Areso”. The Lions went on to give an account of what happened each day as leading up to Friday’s signing of Areso.
According to the response, Athletic claims that they contacted Osasuna on Tuesday, 4 July to tell the club that they were willing to pay Areso’s €450,000 release clause and that he had agreed to the move. Athletic was unable to speak with Osasuna’s President over the phone, but were able to get in touch with the General Director and even discussed the possibility of negotiating a regular transfer instead of paying the release clause.
On Wednesday, 5 July Osasuna instructed Athletic that they would not be willing to negotiate to sell Jesus Areso and that if they were interested they would have to pay his release clause. The following day, 6 July, Athletic notified Osasuna that they would be submitting the release clause fee to the La Liga offices on the following day, 7 July which is exactly what happened on Friday. Athletic ended their response by saying that they tried to sign Jesus Areso normally and paid the clause after Osasuna was unwilling to negotiate further. They claim complete innocence in response to Osasuna’s claims.
Jesus Areso is a very exciting young player who has featured regularly for Spain’s U18 team. The right-back just turned 18 a few days ago and will be immediately incorporated into the Bilbao Athletic squad where he will be direct competition for Jon Agirrezabala and Jon Sillero. Gaizka Garitano is hoping to challenge for promotion back to the Segunda and views Areso as a great addition to the team for the upcoming season.