Athletic Confident That Unai Núñez Won’t Leave The Club During The Transfer Window
The January transfer window is now open and all eyes are on Unai Núñez. After refusing to sign a new contract with Athletic due to being unhappy with his limited role, there is a very real possibility that the defender could leave this summer with several clubs having expressed interest. Núñez will have until the end of the month to make a choice, stay or leave, and it will be the biggest decision of his young career.
Athletic have asked the defender for patience. While Núñez has been forced to sit behind Yeray and Iñigo Martinez the club has tried to ensure the 22-year-old that his chances will come and that San Mamés is the best place for him to continue developing. Although clubs such as West Ham have reportedly offered to pay the defender’s €30 million release clause, Athletic are confident that Núñez will not be leaving during the current transfer window according to an exclusive report from Javier Ortiz De Lazcano of El Correo.
Gaizka Garitano has taken on a leading role in the plans to convince Núñez to remain at Athletic and has even included the defender in the starting lineup for the last three matches. The manager has spoken with Núñez on numerous occasions, assuring him that he is an important part of the team and the Lezama product has agreed to inform the club first if he does make the decision to leave.
The report goes on to reveal that two of the player’s agents met with the club at a hotel in Seville just a few hours before Athletic’s match against Sevilla to further discuss the situation. Increased wages haven’t been a part of renewal talks as playing time is the only factor that concerns Núñez at this point while the agency informed Athletic that several other clubs have expressed interest in their client. The player’s representatives and Athletic plan to meet once again later this week.
For now, Athletic recognize that there will be options for Núñez to leave this month but the club remains confident that he will choose to stay. Ibaigane believes that they will be able to convince the 22-year-old to have patience and remain at San Mamés through the end of the season with hopes that qualifying for Europe will guarantee regular minutes and lead Unai Núñez to sign a new contract.