Athletic Club Facing Competition For Osasuna Winger Kike Barja

Athletic’s interest in Osasuna winger Kike Barja is well documented at this point. After a poor offensive showing this season the Lions know they need to improve their attacking options and view Barja as a solid addition. The 21-year-old is versatile, able to play on either wing, and has an eye for goal and creating chances. Although he has a contract until 2021, his release clause is only €4 million which would not be a problem at all for Athletic. However, the Basque giants are facing competition for the Osasuna product which could make this transfer saga more interesting.

Barja

Athletic face competition to sign Osasuna winger Kike Barja (CA Osasuna)

To this point it has also been rumored that Real Sociedad are interested in signing Barja, but they are no longer Athletic’s only competition for the promising winger. According to a report from Noticias De NavarraValencia have now stepped up their interest in the 21-year-old and have even sent scouts to watch him. With Valencia playing in the Champions League next season they know that they will have to improve the squad and add key depth to the team.

It was recently reported that Osasuna are hoping to sign Barja to an improved contract that will significantly raise his release clause. They are hoping to shield the starlet from other clubs or, at the worst, get a much higher return if someone were to pay his release clause. As of right now it isn’t known whether or not Barja is willing to negotiate or new deal or if he would rather make the switch to a club in the Primera. It doesn’t look like Osasuna will be able to challenge for promotion so the chance to join a club in the top flight may be too enticing for Barja to pass up.

Kike Barja is Athletic’s only attacking transfer target at this point. The Lions are heavily targeting midfielder Mikel Merino, who could be available for roughly €15 million, as well as Ander Herrera, Asier Illarramendi, and left-back Yuri Berchiche. If Barja was to make the switch to the San Mamés he would only be expected to play a minor role in the team with the likes of Iñaki Williams, Iker Muniain, Markel Susaeta, and Iñigo Córdoba all in front of him in the pecking order. Still, the 21-year-old has shown signs that he could develop into a wonderful footballer and Athletic’s interest in him is serious.

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