Eduardo Berizzo And Athletic Club Hopeful Of Reaching An Agreement By Next Week
It is official, Kuko Ziganda will not be the manager of Athletic Club when the current season comes to an end. President Josu Urrutia announced the decision in a joint press conference on Thursday and now all attention has turned to his successor. For a few weeks now, the Basques have been in advanced negotiations with Eduardo Berizzo but the two sides elected not to finalize any agreements yet out of respect for Ziganda who was still leading the team. Now that Ziganda’s future has been revealed, both sides are free to step up talks in hope of reaching a deal as soon as possible.
According to a report from Javier Beltran of AS, Berizzo and Athletic have already met this week and are hopeful of coming to an agreement on the remaining contractual details by the end of next week. They both want to get a deal finalized as soon as possible so that the club can officially announce the hire when the current season ends in a few weeks. The Argentine has had other clubs showing great interest in him, but his mind is made up. He wants to coach Athletic.
Even though Berizzo has not agreed to anything at this point, he has told other interested clubs that he intends to sign with Athletic. In fact, he is already operating as if he will be leading preseason training at Lezama this summer. He was recently given a complete breakdown of the youth system and has been watching first team and Bilbao Athletic matches in preparation for the summer training sessions. Beltran’s report goes as far to say that Berizzo has even been discussing transfer plans with the club. The Argentine wishes to bring Ander Herrera back to the San Mamés (although he knows that will be extremely difficult) and wants the Lions to finally land the signing of Mikel Merino. He has also been making decisions on which youth players will spend the summer with the first team.
Despite having interest from other clubs, Eduardo Berizzo has only been focused on Athletic. In turn, he has been the Basques’s top choice for the job since making the decision that Kuko Ziganda would not continue as manager. Those close to the situation say that Berizzo really likes the way that Athletic is run, the environment, the philosophy, and the focus on youth. In principle, he will sign a one-year contract due to the fact that Presidential elections will take place next summer, but Berizzo plans on proving himself worthy of a long-term deal to stay at the San Mamés.