Athletic Club Reportedly Interested In Signing Alvaro Odriozola On Loan
The January transfer window will be coming to a close next Friday and, as usual, it’s been very quiet around Athletic. Aside from rumors that Unai Núñez and Ibai Gómez could be on their way out of Bilbao, there’s been very little indicating that the club will reinforce the squad this month. Hopes of Javi Martinez returning have been dashed, but another player has now been linked with a move to San Mamés.
According to a report from Miguel Ángel Díaz of Cope, Alvaro Odriozola is negotiating an exit from Real Madrid and Athletic are one of the teams that have shown interest in signing the right-back on loan. Sevilla are also said to be in the running for the 24-year-old, along with Bayern Munich, with a move likely to take place this month.
Odriozola joined Real Madrid from Real Sociedad in the summer of 2018 for a fee of €35 million but hasn’t lived up to expectations. The defender has made just five appearances this season and hasn’t featured in a league game since being sent off in a 1-0 loss to Mallorca on 19 October.
Signing Odriozola would give Athletic quality depth at the right-back position and, with Oscar De Marcos currently recovering from ankle surgery, that could be the motivation behind the club’s interest. Iñigo Lekue is also capable of featuring at fullback and has the confidence of Gaizka Garitano, though he has been used mainly as a winger this season.
At this point, there have been no reports from the Basque Country confirming Athletic’s interest in Odriozola. In fact, the reliable Jose Manuel Monje of Onda Vasca has stated that “there is nothing” is the rumors.
With Ander Capa playing at such a high level Odriozola would find it difficult to have minutes at Athletic and it would be strange for the club to sign the Real Sociedad product on loan unless a purchase option was included. Even then, Real Madrid would want to recoup a large portion of the €35 million they originally paid for Odriozola which makes a permanent move to Athletic complicated.