Athletic Still Looking For A Favorable Loan Move For Asier Villalibre
Asier Villalibre is one of three Athletic players still waiting to leave on loan. The striker, along with Cristian Ganea and Hodei Oleaga, has already been told that they will leave Bilbao for the season but finding an agreement with another club has proved difficult. At one point it seemed as though Villalibre would be joining Iñigo Vicente at Mirandés but that move now looks to have fallen apart.
In a recent press conference, Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta explained the difficulty of finding loan partners. Due to the financial limitations of most clubs in the Segunda deals just aren’t feasible which appears to be the case with Mirandés. The newly-promoted side wouldn’t be able to pay much of Villalibre’s wages and which has all but ended their pursuit of the striker.
Villalibre still has other clubs interested in taking him on loan, though the destinations are not ideal. According to a recent report from Javier Ortiz De Lazcano of El Correo, Barcelona B and Real Madrid Castilla have both contacted Athletic with hopes of signing the striker to help them compete for promotion this season. Naturally, Athletic don’t want Villalibre to spend another year in the Segunda B, especially with another club’s youth team.
Greek side Asteras Tripolis are also said to be interested in Villalibre. The report goes on to explain that they have offered to pay more of the striker’s wages than anyone else, though Athletic aren’t comfortable with the idea of sending Villalibre all the way to Greece. Asteras are currently coached by Borja Jiménez who is a big fan of Villalibre after facing the 21-year-old while managing Mirandés last season.
Athletic will continue to field offers for the Lezama product with hopes of finding a club in the Segunda that can guarantee minutes. A return to Bilbao Athletic appears to be ruled out at this point, though anything can happen. The most important thing is for Villalibre to play consistently this season in order to return next year ready for an important role at San Mamés.