Athletic Club Offer Mikel Oyarzabal A Lucrative Contract In Hopes Of Securing Transfer
Ever since Chelsea paid Kepa Arrizabalaga’s €80 million release clause there has been constant talk about what Athletic will do with the money. Immediately two names came to the front of discussions in Mikel Oyarzabal and Ander Herrera. The Lions already tried to convince Herrera to return to the San Mamés earlier this summer, but the midfielder wants to see out the last year on his contract with Manchester United. Now all eyes are on Oyarzabal.
Athletic tried to sign the forward back in 2016 and Oyarzabal was close to accepting the offer, but ultimately decided to renew his contract with Real Sociedad and raise his release clause to €50 million with a clause requiring an extra €10 million from Athletic. At the time it was a number that Athletic couldn’t touch, but things have changed with the sale of Kepa. Now the Lions have returned for the 21-year-old and sources say that they have already been in contact with Oyarzabal in hopes of convincing him to make the switch to the San Mamés.
Real Sociedad are aware of the interest and a report from El Desmarque Bizkaia claims that they are afraid that Oyarzabal might actually be tempted to accept the offer to join Athletic. The forward refused to speak to the media following a recent friendly, which has added to La Real’s concern. President Jokin Apperibay, who was scheduled to travel to negotiate a deal for Yusuf Yazici, has decided to stay in Donostia and work on a renewal deal for Oyarzabal. The club is hoping to raise his release clause to €100 million, but the decision will be up to the player.
After receiving such a huge sum of money Athletic are refusing to sit quietly. A breaking report from Jon Rivas of Fiebre Rojiblanca states that the Lions have already contacted Oyarzabal’s father and offered a long-term contract that would see the 21-year-old make roughly €5 million per year, which would be a significant increase to his current wages. At this point the player is said to be considering the offer and thinking about his options. It is also important to note that Athletic are ready to pay his €50 million release clause and do not believe that the club can legally be required to pay more. Clauses are actually deposited by players to terminate their own contracts so Athletic do not believe that there is any validity to the anti-Athletic stipulation.
The transfer window closes at the end of this month, which means that Oyarzabal will have less than three weeks to make a decision about his future. Athletic are serious about their approach while Real Sociedad are hoping that he will sign an improved contract. Oyarzabal was recently handed the number 10 shirt for La Real and is viewed as one of the best young Basque players around.