Athletic Club Make Improved Renewal Offer To Unai Núñez
Will he stay or will he go? The decision can only be made by Unai Núñez. The 22-year-old defender is unhappy with his role at Athletic over the past year and, unless something changes, could leave his boyhood club in January. Núñez had featured in just 6 of the team’s 18 league games this season and wants more playing time. After rejected renewal offers the situation may now be fully out of Athletic’s hands.
According to an exclusive report from Javier Beltrán of El Correo, Athletic made an improved offer to Núñez a few weeks ago when his representatives met with the club. The deal would run through 2026 or 2027, see his wages increased significantly, and raise his release clause to somewhere above €50 million. It was a much better offer than the one proposed over the summer, but still didn’t convince the Lezama product and there have been no counter offers or further meetings scheduled.
Núñez isn’t concerned with money at this point; he wants to play and that isn’t happening at Athletic. If the club could guarantee minutes the defender would likely sign a renewal quite easily though Athletic can’t promise specific playing time. Every player must fight for their place in the team and for the past year Yeray and Iñigo Martinez have been chosen over Núñez and have been one of the best partnerships in Europe.
If Núñez decides that he wants to leave there will be no shortage of suitors in January. Bayern Munich have already expressed interest in the defender and West Ham are willing to pay his current release clause of €30 million if Núñez chooses to accept. Others such as Arsenal, Watford, and Everton have all been linked with a move as well. In the end, if Athletic are unable to convince Unai Núñez to stay the club has made it clear that they will not negotiate his exit and will refer interested clubs to the player’s release clause.