Kuko Ziganda will not be the Athletic Club manager after the season ends and, according to reports, Eduardo Berizzo will be taking his place. The Argentine has already met with Athletic and the two sides have been in advanced negotiations for roughly two weeks now. Still, every day that passes without a confirmation that he will be hired is another day that fans spend worrying about the possibility of the deal falling through. That concern is understandable, but there is a reason why things have been quiet over the past few weeks.
According to a report from Javier Beltran of AS, Eduardo Berizzo has not signed a contract with Athletic yet out of respect for Kuko Ziganda who is still the manager until the season ends. His contract has already been drafted at this point and is just awaiting a signature which will presumably take place once the campaign has officially come to a close.
Fans have also been worried about the fact that other clubs have tried to tempt Berizzo away from Athletic, but it hasn’t worked. Universidad de Chile, Colo Colo, Flamengo and the Ecuador National Team have all contacted the Argentine to express their desire to hire him but he has politely rejected their offers because he intends to sign with Athletic. As Beltran says in his report “Berizzo loves Bilbao, the environment, and the Club”. He has every intention of signing with the Basque giants to be the next manager, but he wants to do it in a respectful way which is admirable.
In the meantime, Berizzo has been studying Athletic and Lezama in preparation for his new job. He has already been given a full report on the youth system and has been paying close attention to Bilbao Athletic where at least three starlets will be called up for preseason training with the first team. The fact that Berizzo is already operating under the assumption that he will be managing Athletic next season is good news for fans who are desperate to hear that the agreement is official. This summer should be full of excitement and expectations, but in the meantime fans will have to wait out the remaining three games this season