Athletic Club Open Renewal Talks With Yeray And Unai Nuñez
Regardless of whether or not Athletic are able to qualify for Europe on the final game of the season, this team deserves immense praise. Under the guidance of Gaizka Garitano, Athletic managed to climb out of the relegation zone and into a battle for the top 4 in just a few months, showing just how good the Lions can be. In truth, this is arguably one of the deepest and most talented squads in the history of the club and that should have fans excited about the present and future.
With Europe still uncertain the club has already started to prepare for next season. Markel Susaeta, Ander Iturraspe, Mikel Rico, and Sabin Merino will all be leaving, but there will be additions. Gaizka Larrazabal has been officially promoted to the first team and others such as Iñigo Vicente, Oihan Sancet, Unai Vencedor, and Dani Vivian will all train under Garitano this summer in hopes of earning a place in the squad.
That being said, the club also has to plan for the future and the most important aspect of that is protecting the quality that is already in the squad. Iñaki Williams, Iñigo Martinez, Yuri Berchiche, and Unai Simón all have large release clauses while Iker Muniain, Oscar De Marcos, and Mikel Balenziaga don’t even have a clause. However, there are two key players who must be addressed soon.
Yeray has been one of the best defenders in La Liga this season. He’s proven that he can play at the highest level and has quickly established himself as a true leader. The 24-year-old last signed a renewal back in 2017 running through 2022 and containing a release clause of €30 million. Meanwhile, Unai Nuñez has also shown massive quality and the potential to challenge for a place in the starting lineup. His contract runs through 2023 and also contains a €30 million release clause.
In today’s football market that isn’t a fee that would deter interested clubs. While both players have expressed their desire to continue at Athletic, the club also wants to protect their futures at San Mamés. Those steps are already being taken. According to a report from Aitor Mártinez of DEIA, Athletic have officially opened renewal talks with both players.
The report goes on to say that the club has contacted both players to inform them of the desire to renew their contracts which would significantly increase their release clauses and wages. As expected, Yeray and Nuñez responded positively and sources believe that reaching an agreement with the defenders will come easily and without any complications.
At this point, there haven’t been any formal offers but it’s believed that the club will propose release clauses around €80 million like that of Iñigo Martinez. Negotiations will continue after the season ends and it’s very possible that both Lezama graduates will sign renewal deals during the summer. With the possibility of competing in Europe again next year, Yeray and Nuñez would enjoy very important roles in Garitano’s team.