Gaizka Garitano Slams Door On Possible Ibai Gómez Exit

Ibai Gomez Intercity

Ibai Gómez celebrates his first goal of the season against Intercity (EC)

The past week has been rife with questions over the future of Ibai Gómez. With the winger not having as much prominence as he expected when returning to Athletic last January, Espanyol have made Gómez the club’s top transfer target. Manager Abelardo, who coached Gómez at Alavés, reached out in hopes of convincing the 30-year-old to leave San Mamés but has been unsuccessful.

Despite Espanyol’s persistence and desire to sign Gómez at all costs, the Bilbao native has no desire to leave home. Athletic made it clear that they would only entertain the idea of parting with Gómez if he formally requested to leave, but he would only do so if the club informed him that he wasn’t a part of Gaizka Garitano’s plans.

Following the draw against Sevilla, Garitano was asked if any players would be leaving the club this month. The manager firmly stated that there would be no departures as he is counting on everyone. On Saturday, in light of the Gómez rumors, Garitano was asked if the winger could be on his way out of San Mamés.

“I haven’t changed my mind, I’m counting on everyone,” he answered quickly. “All of the teams are strengthening and we have to continue as we have been. We never part with players that would weaken the team.” Espanyol have been relentless in their pursuit of Ibai Gómez but Garitano has slammed the door on a possible exit this month.

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