Athletic Club Officially Announce The Signing Of Yuri Berchiche
After weeks of speculation, Yuri Berchiche is finally an Athletic Club player. On Mondayday the Lions announced that they had reached an agreement with PSG to purchase the 28-year-old who has signed a contract through 2022 that also contains a €100 million release clause. He will be one of the highest paid players in the team and will be presented as Athletic’s newest signing on Friday at 12:30 at the Jose Iragorri press room at the San Mamés. The club did not reveal the transfer fee, but it is believed to be somewhere around €20-€25 million depending on variables.
Berchiche spent two years at Lezama from 2005 until 2007 before he left to join Tottenham. His time at Athletic was interesting because he was an extremely talented footballer, but also tended to have anger issues which eventually led to his exit. Over the years he has matured and has gone on to become the best Basque left-back in football. After five successful years at Real Sociedad he was purchased by PSG last summer and would go on to feature in 31 games for the French giants, scoring two goals and providing 4 assists.
His return to Athletic is significant because it is a massive signing for the Lions. He will begin the preseason competing with Mikel Balenziaga for the starting role, which he is expected to earn, and will give Athletic experience, quality, and more leadership in defense. Berchiche will line up alongside his close friend, Iñigo Martinez, on the left side of the backline which proved to be very successful when the duo played at Real Sociedad. In fact, Martinez played a big role in convincing his friend to come to the San Mamés.
When Athletic approached Berchiche about returning to the club he became very interested. He viewed Eduardo Berizzo’s project as exciting and eventually made the decision that he wanted to move to the San Mamés after the Lions reached out to him with a contract offer. He told PSG about his desire to join Athletic and the two clubs were able to reach a deal relatively quickly. Berizzo views Berchiche as someone who can play a major role in his team and the 28-year-old has now become the fourth new signing this summer along with Cristian Ganea, Ander Capa, and Dani García. After getting married at the beginning of June, Berchiche has spent the last few weeks on his honeymoon but will join his new teammates when preseason training begins on 9 July.