Eduardo Berizzo will be the next manager of Athletic Club. The Argentine has been in negotiations with the Basque giants for over a month now and a few weeks ago the contract was drafted and ready to sign. However, out of respect to Kuko Ziganda the two sides agreed not to sign anything until the season had officially come to an end. Last week it was announced that Ziganda would not be continuing as manager past the current campaign and that has led Athletic and Berizzo to resume meetings in order to finalize the contract that will see the 48-year-old take over as the new manager.
According to an exclusive report from Basque media outlet EITB, Athletic will meet with Berizzo on Tuesday, 15 May to finalize the contract agreement and close the hire of the new manager. In principle, the former Celta Vigo boss 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. With the contract having already been drafted, this meeting will serve to make sure that everything is order before the actual signing takes place. If all goes according to plan, Eduardo Berizzo will sign his contract with Athletic this week.
Over the last month Berizzo has had several clubs reach out to him with interest, but he has patiently waited on Athletic who have always been his top choice. In fact, he has already been 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. In anticipation of his new job he has even been discussing transfer plans with the Basque giants. 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 the 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 to look for a new manager a few months ago. Those close to the Berizzo say that he has been drawn to Athletic because he really likes the way the club is run, the environment, the philosophy, and the focus on youth. Once Berizzo has signed his contract, the club will likely wait to make the announcement in the days following the final game of the season which will take place this Sunday against Espanyol.