Numancia Closing In On A Deal To Sign Athletic Club’s Andoni López On Loan
Andoni López has a very bright future. The 22-year-old is one of the most promising players coming out of Lezama and has aspirations to make it at the San Mamés. This summer he will train with the first team under new manager Eduardo Berizzo, but his chances of staying in the squad are slim. New signing Yuri Berchiche is guaranteed his place while Mikel Balenziaga will function as the backup. Cristian Ganea also provides competition which means that López will likely have to find minutes elsewhere.
According to a new report from Javier Beltran of AS, Numancia are closing in on a deal to sign Andoni López on loan. The club tried to sign him in January, but Gaizka Garitano requested to keep him at Bilbao Athletic where he was an integral part of the team. Berizzo has studied López and would like to see him in training for a few weeks before allowing him to leave on loan. During that time the left-back will have the opportunity to try to convince the manager, but for right now the plan is for López to play in the Segunda this season.
López is entering the final year of his contract with Athletic, but the Lions view him as an important player for the future and someone who could possibly develop into a starter down the road. The two sides have been working on an extension and the 22-year-old is expected to put pen to paper on a new deal before leaving on loan. Spending a year in the Segunda will be the ultimate test for López to prove that he is ready to compete in the first team and challenge for a place in the squad next summer. Balenziaga is also in the final year of his deal and López could overtake him if he has a strong season while away.
Numancia aren’t the only ones monitoring the situation. Several other clubs in the Segunda have expressed interest in signing López on loan, while Real Sociedad and Eibar are also keeping their ear to the ground. Athletic’s great relationship with Numancia is likely the reason why they are leading the race to sign López, not to mention the fact that they are willing to offer him a starting role in the team. Playing regular minutes is the biggest goal for the Lezama product who is entering the most important season of his career so far.