Gaizka Garitano Will Reportedly Sign Contract Renewal During International Break, Markel Susaeta To Follow
Athletic Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta has been very transparent about his goals and timeline over the past few months. The club legend explained that Athletic would not discuss contracts with players until manager Gaizka Garitano had first signed a renewal himself, but that would not be addressed until the team had moved clear of the relegation zone. Now there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The international break will give the team two weeks off of football and, in turn, will allow Alkorta to address some of the most urgent issues. According to a breaking report from Juanma Velasco of Marca, Garitano will sign his renewal before Athletic’s next match on 29 March. Extending the manager’s deal has been the club’s top priority for several weeks now and an agreement is nearly finalized. Sources claim that an offer was put on the table a few weeks ago, but Garitano wanted to secure permanence and get the team into a good position before officially accepting.
Athletic’s Board has never even considered another manager and it’s been made clear that Garitano wants to continue at the club. Both sides expect the final stages of negotiations to be straight forward without any complications. The report suggests that Garitano could sign a one-year extension with an option for an added year based on meeting certain criteria. During the break the club and manager will work out the remaining minor details before officially putting pen to paper.
Garitano’s renewal isn’t the only priority for Alkorta. The Sporting Director will also meet with Markel Susaeta to finalize an extension for the Captain, but that won’t happen until Garitano signs his new deal first. Susaeta will continue at Athletic next season, though some players will be leaving. The decision has already been made that Mikel Rico and Ander Iturraspe will not be offered renewals and will say goodbye to San Mamés when their contracts expire in June.