Athletic Club Unwilling To Sell Ibai Gómez Despite Persistence From Espanyol
Espanyol have been relentless in their pursuit of Ibai Gómez. Sporting Director Francisco Rufete has been in direct contact with Rafa Alkorta while manager Abelardo, who coached Gómez at Alavés, has tried to convince the winger to make the switch during the current transfer window. The Catalans are determined to persuade Athletic to agree to a deal, but an exit looks very unlikely.
According to an exclusive report from Robert Basic of El Correo, Athletic will only entertain the idea of parting with Gómez if the player formally requests to leave. Even then, the club would demand a significant fee from Espanyol for the transfer. On the other hand, Juanma Velasco of Marca has reported that Gómez has no desire to leave Athletic and will only do so if the club informs him that he isn’t part of the plans.
Ultimately, the decision rests with Gaizka Garitano. The Mister has already spoken with Gómez about the situation and has ensured the 30-year-old that he is an important player in the team. Gómez is said to be determined to succeed at Athletic and wants to fight for his place in the team.
With the transfer window halfway over Espanyol are in a hurry to reinforce the squad as they look to stave off relegation. Ibai Gómez remains the club’s top target, but a deal is highly unlikely. Athletic are unwilling to facilitate a move without Gómez requesting to leave and the winger has no intention of doing so after being told that he is an integral part of Garitano’s plans.