Unai Núñez’s Contract Negotiations Still In Limbo
Unai Núñez is still waiting for change. Despite being one of the best young defenders in Spain, the Lezama product barely featured for Athletic last season and the situation is more or less the same this year. When given the opportunity, Núñez has played at a very high level but is still the third option behind Yeray and Iñigo Martinez which has raised concerns over his future at San Mamés.
At least three clubs from England showed interest in signing Núñez back in January but a move never materialized. The clubs were unwilling to meet the 22-year-old’s €30 million release clause at the time but that number has since become a bargain in today’s football. In response, Athletic made it a priority to improve Núñez’s contract over the summer but a deal has yet to be reached.
Along with guaranteed playing time, Núñez is also looking for wages that reflect a much higher release clause. The player and club have been in negotiations for a few months now with no resolution, though neither side is in a hurry to get things done. Núñez is still under contract through 2023 but it won’t be long until the January transfer window arrives and Athletic would like to have a new contract in place in order to protect their starlet.
Núñez has publicly shared his desire to stay at Athletic but always with the caveat that he wants to play. It’s a difficult situation for a young player who has the quality to be starting in the Primera and the club must find a way to convince him that he has a future in Bilbao. Negotiations will continue with both Athletic and Núñez hoping to reach an agreement but for now the two sides are still far apart.