Athletic Identify Aitor Fernández As Top Choice To Replace Iago Herrerín
Unai Simón is the present and future of the Athletic goal. That being the case, Iago Herrerín’s time at San Mamés looks to be coming to an end. The 32-year-old has publicly voiced his frustrations with his lack of minutes and has also revealed that he already has offers to leave the club this summer. With Herrerín likely departing, Athletic have already identified his replacement in Levante’s Aitor Fernández.
Like many other talented goalkeepers to come through Lezama, Fernández never had a path to the first team. Although he spent his entire childhood with the Zurigorri he had to leave to find minutes elsewhere after being a key player for Bilbao Athletic. Since joining Levante in 2018 Fernández has been in sensational form, establishing himself as one of the La Liga’s best goalkeepers this season.
Fernández recently signed a contract renewal with Levante that runs through 2023 and includes a €30 million release clause. However, the 28-year-old has never hidden his affection for Athletic while always leaving open the possibility of leaving Levante at some point to compete at a higher level.
According to a report from SER Valencia, Athletic view Fernández as the top option to replace Herrerín this summer but they aren’t the only ones interested. Real Sociedad and Real Betis were also linked with interest in the goalkeeper who is expected to be available for much lower than his current release clause.
Fernández is said to be interested in making a move this summer due to the lack of opportunities at Levante which makes a return to Athletic an exciting possibility. On the other hand, joining the Lions would likely see Fernández given the role of Cup goalkeeper which would result in much fewer minutes than as a true starter. Either way, bringing Aitor Fernández back to Athletic would be a tremendous signing to bolster the goalkeeper position and add valuable experience to the squad.