Athletic finally broke their silence in the transfer market when they signed Eibar’s Ander Capa on the very last day that the window was open. After not having sealed a transfer in a little over two years, the Lions paid €3 million for the 25-year-old who will join the team at the end of the season. The purchase has most fans very happy and excited about the future could hold, especially after going so long without any transfers from the outside. Still, not many realize that the Basque giants actually had competition to sign Ander Capa which makes the move even more impressive.
According to sources close to the situation, fellow La Liga clubs Real Betis and Valencia were also interested in signing Ander Capa. Of course, Barcelona also wanted to sign the right-back in January, but were put off by Eibar’s request to pay his €10 million release clause. Signing Capa for a mere €3 million is definitely a great purchase, but the player also had a lot to do with making sure that the move went through. In the end, Capa only wanted to join Athletic Club.
With Capa’s contract set to expire at the end of this season, he would have been free to negotiate with other clubs at the beginning of January. The player was dreaming and hoping of a move back to Athletic, where he was enrolled at Lezama from 2002-2005, but also did not want to leave Eibar in a negative way. In order to go ahead and a seal his future in Bilbao, as well as help Eibar at the same time, the 25-year-old signed a contract extension for another year which meant that Athletic could not sign him for free. The Lions ended up paying €3 million to bring Capa to the San Mamés next summer in a deal that saw all three parties — the player and both clubs — work together in an amicable and positive way.
The fact that Valencia and Real Betis were also trying to sign Capa is a testament to his quality and Barcelona’s interest last winter was very much real. The Eibar man has been one of the best right-backs in all of La Liga for the last few years and will immediately make the Athletic Club squad stronger. Not only will the Lions get another great player to add to the team, Capa will also get the move that he has been hoping for. Additionally, fans will be happy to see that his contract with Athletic will contain a €50 million release clause, which should help deter the likes of Barcelona from trying to sign him down the road. Ander Capa may not be coming to the San Mamés until next summer, but it is a move worth being excited about right now.