Oscar De Marcos And Mikel Balenziaga Sign Contract Extensions With Athletic Through 2021 Without Release Clauses
As Athletic’s Presidential elections draw closer the Management Committee, led by Josu Urrutia, continues to oversee the daily operations of the club. The January transfer window will be opening in just a few weeks and there are several players who will be entering the final months of their contracts with the club. Now two of those players have committed their futures to Athletic.
Athletic officially announced on Friday evening that Oscar De Marcos and Mikel Balenziaga have signed contract renewals through 2021. Even more exciting is the fact that both players elected to not include a release clause in their new contract, following in the footsteps of Iker Muniain who did so just a few weeks ago.
“I’m very happy to continue at Athletic for a few more years”, De Marcos told Athletic TV. “Everybody knows that this is my dream and I’m trying to make it last as long as possible. I’m happy for the renewal and now I’m trying to do the best I can and continue to be important for the team.” The 29-year-old has made 367 appearances for Athletic in his 10 years with the club.
Balenziaga was just a excited to have signed his renewal. He told Athletic TV that staying at the club has always been his goal so he didn’t see any point in including a release clause in his new contract. “I’m very happy. This is what I wanted, to be at Athletic for many years. Because of that I see no reason to have a release clause.” The 30-year-old has made 238 appearances for Athletic.
The Basques giants now have three key players in the squad who have chosen not to include a release clause in their contract, which is contrary to the way things normally go in Spain. These players have sent a message that they are solely committed to Athletic and have no interest in leaving the club. Moving forward it will be interesting to see if any other players follow this trend that was once only considered to be wishful thinking but has now become a reality and a statement of loyalty to the Zurigorri.