Josu Urrutia Leaves The Door Open For More Transfers At Athletic Club
Josu Urrutia officially presented Yuri Berchiche as the newest Athletic Club player during a press conference on Friday. The President was clearly excited about the move and thankful that the 28-year-old made the decision to come back to the club where he spent two years at Lezama. While speaking to the media Urrutia praised Berchiche and said that the club will be stronger because of his arrival.
“We thank Yuri for betting on Athletic and making the decision to come to the club that has a unique philosophy. He comes from a great team to another great team, but one that is different, that has opted for a more complicated path but one that is special. I think he has made the right decision and he will give us strength and help the team. We are very excited to have Yuri at Athletic Club.”
Urrutia went on to discuss the recent transfer signings as a whole, making it clear that the team needed to bring in new talent to continue competing at the highest level. Despite signing three fullbacks, the President feels that they are all versatile and will fit in well under new manager Eduardo Berizzo.
“We considered it necessary to bring in these players. We intend to maintain the level of previous years and we know it is hard, but the team will compete. We know where football is going and we have had good teams. Although last year wasn’t the best, overall we the team has met the goals put in place in 2011. We have signed three fullbacks, but they can play in different positions as well. They are versatile and I think that is what the coach wanted. Yuri and Balenziaga have proven themselves at their position. Andoni [López] and Ganea have enthusiasm and hope. They will write their stories and we hope they will accomplish big things.”
In closing, Urrutia made it clear that Athletic have not made any bids to sign Mikel Merino. However, he refused to close the door on any additional signings when asked about the possibility of the club pursuing Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera. Until the window closes anything can happen.
“No, Athletic have not tried to sign Mikel Merino. I wouldn’t focus on specific names, but any player that we believe can help the team is possible and could come because the club has the capacity for it. The deadline ends on 31 August and we cannot rule out anything until then. The club has the obligation to be aware of everything.”
At this point is seems as though Athletic’s summer is over in terms of bringing in new players. The Lions could continue to pursue Ander Herrera, but the midfielder has made it clear that he wants to see out the final year of his contract with Manchester United. At the same time some players will be leaving the club with Berizzo’s squad currently set at 34 players and in need of trimming.