Napoli Reportedly Interested In Signing Athletic Club Defender Unai Núñez
The future of Unai Núñez is shrouded in uncertainty. After barely featuring last season, which hasn’t really changed this year, the 22-year-old has rejected a recent renewal offer from Athletic with demands of more playing time. Núñez has publicly stated that he wants to continue at his boyhood club, but always with the caveat of having regular minutes and other clubs have taken notice.
Last year three clubs from England were said to be interested in signing Núñez but weren’t willing to pay the defender’s €30 million release clause. That fee has quickly become a bargain with Núñez having won the U21 European Championship with Spain and recently making his National Team debut. When given the opportunity, the Lezama product has proven his quality but the chances have been few and far between.
Over the past few months clubs such as Barcelona, Arsenal, and Manchester City have kept an eye on Núñez and now there is another to add to the list. According to a report from Tutto Mercato, Napoli have been monitoring the situation and have identified Núñez as a possible replacement if Kalidou Koulibaly leaves the club in the coming months.
Núñez’s low release clause has been cause for concern for several months now. Athletic have made it a priority to improve the defender’s contract with a much higher clause and wages to match, but the biggest issue is still playing time. The two sides are set to resume renewal negotiations over the coming weeks as Unai Núñez wants to stay in Bilbao and it will be up to the club to convince him that he has a future, as well as opportunities, at San Mamés.