Athletic Club President Josu Urrutia Still Looking To Improve The Squad
This may be the most interesting summer that Athletic President Josu Urrutia has overseen during his time at the helm. Throughout his tenure Urrutia has been hesitant to spend big on players, with some fans going as far to call him cheap, but that seems to be changing. In January, after losing Aymeric Laporte, the President immediately invested half of the incoming fee into signing Real Sociedad’s Iñigo Martinez who became the club’s highest transfer in history at €32 million.
It doesn’t look as though he is finished yet. After a very disappointing season under Kuko Ziganda, Urrutia understands that the team needs and overhaul and he is reportedly ready to spend to make that happen. The club has already signed Ander Capa, Cristian Ganea, and now Dani García for a total of roughly €4 million, but they want more. During García’s presentation on Monday the President was asked about other potential signings and made it clear that the club must always be looking for ways to improve the team.
“The club is always working to have the best team possible. Do I want more signings? It isn’t about what I want, it’s about what is best for Athletic. We have to look out for what is best for Athletic. If we identify someone that we believe can improve out team, we will try to sign them. I must clarify that none of the four coaches that have served during my Presidency have demanded any specific signings. They have understood what Athletic is. There have been different periods of time at the club where signings were scarce and others where we signed a lot of players. It is all about what is best for the club. Right now we are working to give Eduardo Berizzo the best team possible.”
Although the President has been quiet regarding which players the club is targeting, there are at least three that they have an eye on. Mikel Merino is the top target this summer and the Lions are already set to meet with Newcastle to discuss the potential deal. Additionally, Athletic are watching Ander Herrera and Yuri Berchiche closely, although they realize it would be very difficult to sign either one. If the opportunity presents itself, and the price isn’t too astronomical, Urrutia is willing to pull the trigger.