Alavés In Talks To Sign Bilbao Athletic’s Iker Undabarrena
Iker Undabarrena has been one of the crowned jewels of Lezama for quite some time now, but his time at the club is coming to an end. As it was recently reported, the 23-year-old has not signed a contract renewal with Athletic and will be free to sign elsewhere when his current deal expires at the end of the season. The Lions had the option to trigger a clause to automatically extend his contract for another year, but it also came with the stipulation that he would be promoted. Athletic chose not to activate the clause which means that the midfielder is on his way out this summer.
The deadline to activate Undabarrena’s renewal clause came and went on Tuesday, so the 23-year-old knows that he will be leaving this summer unless something drastically changes. He is now free to negotiate with other clubs and has reportedly already begun that process. According to DEIA, Deportivo Alavés reached out to Undabarrena to express their interest in signing him and the Lezama product met with the club on Friday to discuss the possibility of joining them this summer.
Many fans are upset over Athletic’s decision not to renew Undabarrena who has been one of the best midfielders in the system for years now. With the first team’s midfielders struggling this season, most expected Undabarrena to get the opportunity to train with the senior squad this summer but that is not going to happen now. Had it not been for his two serious knee injuries, the 23-year-old would already be in the first team. In fact, he was supposed to be promoted a few years ago before suffering one of his knee injuries, after which the club decided to promote Mikel Vesga in his place.
Athletic did offer Undabarrena a renewal back in September but it did not include a promotion. He rejected the proposal. For whatever reason the club has made the decision not to promote Undabarrena and that is why he will be leaving this summer. The Lezama product has proven that he is ready to face stronger competition and joining Alavés would see him make the jump to the Primera. In the meantime, he still has a huge role to play for Bilbao Athletic who will play the first leg of their promotional playoff draw against Villarreal B this Sunday at the San Mamés.