New Contracts For Yeray And Unai Nuñez Will Include Wage Increases Based On Meeting Objectives
Athletic have several issues that need to be resolved this summer. The squad needs to be trimmed, preseason scheduled, and Gaizka Garitano must prepare the team to compete for European qualification. Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta is also looking ahead to next year’s expiring contracts, but has put a priority on renewing Yeray and Unai Nuñez as soon as possible.
Yeray is under contract through 2022 and Nuñez’s deal lasts until 2023, so duration isn’t the issue. Both center-backs have proven that they can compete at the highest level and have attracted interest from clubs such as Barcelona and Atlético Madrid. Right now their release clauses are set at €30 million and Athletic are aware that fee is far too low in today’s market.
A few weeks ago the club opened negotiations for renewals and talks have gone well. The two Lezama products have expressed their desire to continue at San Mamés and Athletic hope to finalize agreements before preseason begins on 4 July. Of course, Athletic will be looking to significantly increase their release clauses but new contracts will also have to come with pay raises as well.
Athletic are in a difficult situation financially. After failing to qualify for Europe for a second consecutive season the Lions have a very high wage bill and are limited in how much they can add. That being said, the plan is to structure the new contracts where raises are included, but can also grow based on meeting objectives and goals according to a report from Juanma Velasco of Marca.
To this point, there has been no word from either player on possible renewals. Sources continue to state that talks have been positive and both are expected to continue at San Mamés, though it’s clear that Athletic want to settle the issue before the transfer window invites interest from other clubs. Yeray and Unai Nuñez are seen as pillars of the current team and the future and their new contracts must reflect that truth.