Barcelona Send Scouts To Watch Unai Nuñez But Are Unwilling To Meet His €30 Million Release Clause
It’s hard to believe that Unai Nuñez is still just 21 years old. The center-back was promoted to the first team under manager Kuko Ziganda last summer and would go on to featured in 36 matches across all competitions. His quick rise to prominence in La Liga caught the attention of others clubs and reports claim that Barcelona have been monitoring the Lezama product for over a year now.
Nuñez has barely played this season, partly due to lack of opportunities and also because of the fantastic form of Yeray. Rumors soon surfaced suggesting that Barcelona were once again considering a move for the young defender as they look for a potential replacement for Thomas Vermaelen. According to a breaking report from RAC1 the Catalans sent a scout to watch Nuñez play with Spain’s U21 team on Thursday against Denmark.
Barcelona’s interest in Nuñez certainly isn’t surprising. He’s a talented young defender who has shown the ability to win challenges and is very strong in the air. His ability with the ball at his feet and passing is still improving, but he’s already a fearless tackler who can also be a leader in the back line.
However, the RAC1 report claims that Barcelona are unwilling to meet Nuñez’s €30 million release clause as they do not value him at that price. The Catalans are also aware that his current contract runs through 2023 and they would not be able to negotiate a lower fee with Athletic should they decide to pursue the defender. At this point Nuñez is just one name on a list of center-backs that Barcelona have been monitoring so the club could simply decide to look elsewhere.
If Barcelona were to seriously pursue the transfer the decision would ultimately be up to Nuñez. He’s always been vocal about wanting to succeed at his boyhood club, but the lack of playing time is concerning. Things have been better over the past few weeks with the 21-year-old being called on due to Yeray’s injury and Nuñez has definitely made the most of the opportunity. It will be interesting to see how Eduardo Berizzo manages the minutes moving forward this season but it’s clear that other clubs have an eye on Unai Nuñez and Athletic do not want to lose the starlet.