The Futures Of Ander Iturraspe and Mikel Rico Have Been Decided, Markel Susaeta Still Waiting
The expectation has been set. Athletic Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta has already made it clear that his priority is renewing manager Gaizka Garitano before turning his attention to the expiring contracts of the players in the squad. That being said, he is also working out the plans of the future. He and Garitano have been discussing the project moving forward and some decision have already been made.
According to an exclusive report from Alberto Santacruz of Oye Athletic, Ander Iturraspe and Mikel Rico will not be offered contract renewals. The two midfielders will see their current deals expire at the end of the season and will leave the club.
For Iturraspe the decision isn’t surprising. He has struggled to play at a good level for the past few years and has barely featured this season. Rico, on the other hand, has done well when given the opportunity. However, he missed significant time with an ankle injury and has several players standing in front of him in the depth chart. Injuries and his age (34) have both played a significant role in the decision. Both players will leave the club this summer unless something changes.
Markel Susaeta is still waiting for his future to be decided. Both he and the club want to negotiate a renewal, but Athletic will wait to see how the 30-year-old continues to play this season. The decision will ultimately be up to Garitano. Sources consulted believe that it is very likely that the two sides will begin talks in the coming weeks and that an agreement will be reached.
Lastly, Aritz Aduriz already has a one-year renewal offer on the table. The 38-year-old will be the one to decide whether he continue playing or chooses to retire from football. That decision could be more difficult than ever after it was reported on Friday that he could miss the rest of the season with ligament damage in his right knee.