Alex Remiro Agrees To Resume Contract Negotiations With Athletic Club
When Kepa Arrizabalaga left for Chelsea over the summer Alex Remiro was expected to fight for the starting role. That didn’t happen. Contract disputes left him sidelined former President Josu Urrutia eventually said that the 23-year-old had told the club that he refused to negotiate a new deal and would be leaving when his contract expired in June. Both feet were out the door and it was slammed shut behind him.
Many reports suggested that the main issue was that of wages. Athletic’s last offer was for a deal paying the goalkeeper €1 million per year and rising yearly to roughly €2 million after playing 75% of games. It also contained a €60 million release clause that would increase to €80 million over time. Remiro felt as though he wasn’t being properly valued for someone who would be competing for the starting role and the talks broke off after he was given five days to respond.
Urrutia then came out in a press conference claiming that Remiro had told the club that he had no intention of negotiating a new deal. His current contract was set to expire in June and the goalkeeper would be leaving Athletic at that time. Remiro has trained with the team all year, but has not been allowed to be called up for games. Some reports went as far to say that he was in talks with Real Sociedad with other clubs such as Villarreal, Anderlecht, and Monaco all showing interest.
The promising young keeper’s Athletic career was over before it had even started. Remiro had been essentially forgotten until the Presidential elections were in full swing. Both candidates said that they intended to talk to the 23-year-old if they won the election with new President Aitor Elizegi being very outspoken about the matter. In a few interviews after winning Ibaigane, Elizegi made it clear that he wanted to sit down with Remiro to hear his side of the story, find out his feelings on the matter, and attempt to negotiate a new contract.
Elizegi and Remiro met a few days after the election and it seems as though the discussion went well. According to an exclusive report from Javier Ortiz De Lazcano of El Correo, Remiro has agreed to resume contract negotiations with Athletic and the two parties are scheduled to meet soon.
The fact that Remiro has agreed to negotiate again leads Athletic to believe that he doesn’t have a deal in place with any other club. It was one of Elizegi’s biggest goals to get the Lezama graduate to sit back down to discuss his contract, but Remiro will still hold all the power. He is free to negotiate with other clubs in January and the new Board know that he has felt undervalued for quite some time. It will be up to Elizegi and Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta to decide what kind of renewal to offer the goalkeeper.
Remiro’s willingness to resume negotiations is a big win for Elizegi, but it doesn’t mean that the goalkeeper will be staying at Athletic. Having proved himself in the Segunda Remiro wants regular playing time, wages that reflect his place in the team, and respect. Other clubs are now allowed to talk to the 23-year-old as well which means that the next few weeks will be vitally important for Athletic to repair the relationship and convince Alex Remiro to continue his career at the San Mamés.