Athletic Entering Final Week To Complete Loan Moves

Asier Villalibre

Asier Villalibre is still waiting to leave Athletic on loan (AC)

The La Liga transfer window will officially close in just one week. As clubs prepare for the window to slam shut at 11:59 p.m. on 2 September, Athletic find themselves in an odd situation. It’s been several weeks since the club informed three players that they would be leaving on loan but so far no moves have been made.

When giving an update on the situation a few weeks ago, Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta explained that the financial limitations of Segunda clubs was making it complicated to find loan partners. Several teams had contacted Athletic with interest in signing players but so far the Basques haven’t been able to reach an agreement. Now, time is running out.

Asier Villalibre has known for a few weeks that he would have to leave on loan and has attracted interest from the likes of Mirandés, but the newly-promoted side has since ruled out the signing due to wage restrictions. Both Barcelona B and Real Madrid Castilla have enquired about the 21-year-old, but Athletic aren’t willing to let Villalibre continue in the Segunda B just to play with another club’s reserve team.

Cristian Ganea was told at the start of preseason, nearly two months ago, that he wouldn’t have a place in the Athletic squad this several. As many as 10 clubs from the Segunda reached out to Athletic without success. One by one the clubs signed other players to fill their needs or have since withdrawn interest due to financial issues. With just days left in the transfer window Ganea is without a single formal offer and looks set to stay at San Mamés until January.

Lastly, Hodei Oleaga has been waiting for over a month for a move to materialize. Like Villalibre, the goalkeeper had interest from Mirandés but now it seems as though he will stay in the Segunda B. Reports claim that Athletic are close finalizing a loan deal with UD Melilla but there isn’t much time left. While Oleaga is expected to leave, Villalibre and Ganea are still waiting. It’s important that Athletic find loan moves for the pair before the transfer window closes or both could spend the next few months without chances to play.

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