Huesca In Talks To Sign Athletic Club Defender Xabi Etxeita
Xabi Etxeita’s time at Athletic Club looks to be coming to an end. Since returning to the San Mamés in 2013 he’s enjoyed a few highs, such as being called up to the Spain National Team, but over the last few years there has been a struggle for consistency. Now, with a lot of competition in the team, it looks as though new manager Eduardo Berizzo has decided to bet on other players.
According to a report from Alfonso Herrán of AS, newly promoted Huesca are in talks to sign Xabi Etxeita who does not enter into Berizzo’s plans. The 30-year-old is in the last year of his contract with Athletic and is already aware that he is headed for the exit door this summer.
The writing has been on the wall for Etxeita since the start of preseason training. Andoni López and Peru Nolaskoain have both been transitioning to center-back and were called up for the first two friendlies of the summer while Etxeita was left behind. Even with the injury to Iñigo Martinez, the 30-year-old has failed to featured in Berizzo’s team and has not even been given the chance to play.
Berizzo is said to really like López and Nolaskoain as center-back due to their ideal size and ability on the ball. They fit into his system of building from the back and have been given every opportunity to learn the new position this summer. Only time will tell if one of them is able to earn a permanent place in the team, but it is clear that the manager sees great potential in both players. If Etxeita does leave it would only make sense that at least one of the Lezama standouts would take his place in the team.
Athletic will be flying to Holland on Monday for their week-long training trip and there is a good chance that Etxeita will not even be a part of the group. Huesca are hoping to sign the defender as quickly as possible so that he can join the team and begin preparing for the season, but the two clubs must still come to an agreement. With this being Huesca’s first ever season in the Primera they would love to add an experienced veteran like Xabi Etxeita to the team and it may only be a matter of time before a deal is reached.