Real Betis Interested In Signing Athletic Club Midfielder Beñat
This summer Athletic fans are going to see some big changes around the club. Not only will the team have a new manager taking over for Kuko Ziganda, the squad will also be getting an overhaul after a disappointing season. On area in particular, the midfield, is in desperate need of strengthening and the team is already working on bringing in new players such as Dani Garcia (who will be coming for free) and Mikel Merino. Additions to the squad also mean that current players will have to work hard to keep their place in the team. Other clubs are watching the situation closely and Real Betis have already set their sights on a familiar face.
According to a report from El Desmarque Bizkaia, Real Betis are interested in bringing back midfielder Beñat who played for the club from 2010-2013 before making his return to Athletic where he grew up at Lezama. The 31-year-old quickly became one of the most important players at Athletic and recently renewed his contract until 2020 with a release clause of €50 million. Clearly Real Betis will not be able to purchase him unless Athletic decide that his time at the club has come to an end.
Several Athletic midfielders will be under the microscope over the next few months. Ander Iturraspe, Mikel San José, Mikel Rico, Mikel Vesga, and Beñat will all be fighting for their place as will Unai López who will be returning from a very success season on loan with Rayo Vallecano. There won’t be enough room in the squad for everyone and that means that the new manager will have some difficult decisions to make. As of right now there is nothing suggesting that Beñat is expected to leave this summer, but no decisions will be made until the new manager has time to assess the team.
Beñat played fewer minutes this season than he had in recent years and Athletic fans were not happy with his limited appearances. In a campaign where the midfield struggled mightily, Beñat was often solid and consistent which made the selections even more questionable. He also dealt with some minor muscle injuries. Real Betis’ interest in the 31-year-old makes sense due to the fact that he is familiar with the club and would provide experience in the Europa League, but he will not be leaving Athletic unless the club decides that he doesn’t have a place in the squad moving forward, which looks extremely unlikely right now.