Rafa Alkorta Confirms Athletic Made An Offer To Ander Herrera

Ander Herrera

“There was desire for Herrera…but we couldn’t compete with PSG.” (ITV)

The summer has come and gone quietly for Athletic who made just one signing. Barcelona B goalkeeper Jokin Ezkieta was signed by the Basques and will spend the year starting for Bilbao Athletic and being available to the first team. The transfer window won’t officially close until 2 September which means there’s still time to make moves, but it’s unlikely that any other new faces will be coming to San Mamés.

Before the summer began there was talk of Athletic pursuing the likes of Ander Herrera, Fernando Llorente, and Javi Martinez. None of those moves ever came to fruition and Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta addressed the situation in a recent interview with El Larguero de la SER.

“There was a desire for Herrera to come back because he had just finished his contract with Manchester United”, began Alkorta. “But we couldn’t compete with PSG in any way. Herrera is a player who was on the table. We knew that he wanted to leave Manchester and there was some contact, an offer, but offering more than PSG was impossible. It was too much for us.”

When asked why the club didn’t pursue Llorente, Alkorta echoed the recent comments of President Aitor Elizegi who doesn’t think there’s room for the forward. “There was no offer for Llorente because we already have four strikers. Right now he isn’t an option for us. He’s not on the table. There was no offer for Javi Martinez either because he is still under contract and we could not bid for him.”

Naturally, the Sporting Director was also asked if there was any attempt to sign Real Sociedad captain Mikel Oyarzabal. “Nothing”, answered Alkorta. Athletic could be more active next summer with Javi Martinez entering the final year of his contract with Bayern Munich, but that remains to be seen. As always, the main source of strengthening the team is still Lezama and several young starlets are ready to prove themselves at San Mamés.

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