Athletic Unwilling To Sell Iago Herrerín Without Signing A Replacement
Iago Herrerín wants out of Bilbao. The 32-year-old has grown frustrated with a lack of minutes and has even publicly revealed that he already has offers from other clubs for the upcoming transfer window. Although Herrerín has always dreamed of being the starting goalkeeper for Athletic, his time with the club hasn’t been what he had hoped for and a move this summer could be a possibility.
For now, Athletic have no plans to make a change at goalkeeper. Herrerín is still under contract for one more season and the club would like for him to continue as the backup to Unai Simón. However, if the veteran formally requests to leave then Athletic would entertain the idea, but only if a replacement is signed.
According to a report from Juanma Velasco of Marca, Athletic will only consider selling Herrerín if the club can bring in another experienced goalkeeper to take his place. While the Basques see impressive potential in Jokin Ezkieta, the belief is that the 23-year-old isn’t quite ready to make the permanent jump to the first team. At this point there are two promising transfer targets.
On Friday Athletic were reported to have interest in Levante’s Aitor Fernandéz who grew up at Lezama. The 28-year-old has been one of the best goalkeepers in La Liga over the past two years and has a release clause of €30 million, although Levante are said to be willing to accept a much lower fee. Sending Herrerín the other way in a potential swap deal has also been rumored.
Velasco reports that Athletic have yet to make any contact with Fernandéz or Levante. When asked to respond to the reported interest Fernandéz simply stated that he was happy at Estadio Ciutat de Valéncia. Meanwhile, some have suggested that the goalkeeper would be willing to leave Levante due to limited chances to compete for European qualification or titles.
Signing Fernandéz would be impressive but far from easy. On the other hand, bringing back Jon Ander Serantes could be a much more feasible move. Serantes also spent time at Lezama and is currently playing for Avispa Fukuoka in Japan and will be out of contract in December. The 30-year-old would likely be open to the chance to return home even if it meant featuring as a backup and Cup goalkeeper.
Unai Simón is without question the present and future of the Athletic goal but won’t even turn 23 until June. The club is resolute about having a veteran goalkeeper in the squad and would prefer for Herrerín to play out the remaining year of his contract. The only way Athletic would accept parting ways with Iago Herrerín is if someone else were brought in to take his place and for now Aitor Fernandéz and Jon Ander Serantes are the most likely candidates.