8 Bilbao Athletic Players Out Of Contract This Summer

Oier Luengo

Oier Luengo has made the most of his opportunities this season (EC)

Planning for the future is both necessary and difficult given the current health crisis around the world. With so much uncertainty as to whether or not seasons will resume, football clubs face the challenge of having to make important decisions at a time when little is clear. Expiring contracts continue to be a major topic of discussion, especially for Bilbao Athletic where eight players are scheduled to see their deals run out on 30 June.

Jon Morcillo, Andoni Tascón, Antonio Salado, Victor San Bartolomé, Julen Bernaola, Jon Rojo, Oier Luengo, and Javier Murua will all be out of contract at the end of the season. Each player is in a unique situation which has been analyzed by the club but age, quality, potential, and possible promotions from Basconia are all factors that can affect the outcome.

Javier Murua, Jon Rojo, and Antonio Salado are the most likely to leave the club with neither of the three having played regular minutes under Joseba Etxeberria. Rojo began the season as the starting left-back but was quickly overtaken by Imanol García de Albéniz. As one of the oldest players in the team his age suggests that he will be moving on.

Antonio Salado has featured in 13 games this season, albeit just three times in the starting lineup. The 23-year-old is also expected to be on the way out with Basconia’s Beñat Prados already chosen over him on multiple occasions and set for promotion next season. Javier Murua has made just six appearances and clearly isn’t part of the manager’s plans moving forward.

Victor San Bartolome

Victor San Bartolomé is expected to continue at Bilbao Athletic next year (AC)

Oier Luengo is in a very interesting situation. Following last year’s loan spell the 22-year-old has stepped up in a significant way with Dani Vivian and Jon Sillero having both struggled with injuries. Luengo has established himself as an important player in the team, but his future will likely be determined by whether or not Bilbao Athletic earn promotion and others coming up from Basconia, such as Aitor Paredes.

Julen Bernaola and Victor San Bartolomé will continue at Bilbao Athletic next season. According to a report from Javier Beltrán of El Correo, the club has an option to unilaterally extend their contracts for one more year and plans to do so. Bernaola offers the versatility to play in defense or as a holding midfielder while San Bartolomé is believed to have the potential to reach the first team but has dealt with injuries this season.

Andoni Tascón is also expected to stay at Bilbao Athletic after what has been a very disappointing campaign. Returning from a successful loan spell with Amorebieta, the striker was poised to lead the attack for the Kumeak this season but has been limited to just seven appearances due to muscle injuries. The club plans to renew his contract for one season.

Jon Morcillo

Jon Morcillo leads the team with 10 goals (AC)

Athletic also have the option to automatically renew Jon Morcillo’s contract for another year, but may instead choose to negotiate an entirely new deal much like what happened with Gaizka Larrazabal last summer. Morcillo leads Bilbao Athletic with 10 goals this season and has attracted interest from other clubs. Renewal talks have already begun with Morcillo eager to sign a new deal with the Zurigorri.

Iñigo Baqué was also set to see his contract expire on 30 June but has already signed a renewal through next season. The 23-year-old suffered a torn ACL back in January which immediately prompted the club to extend his deal. This has become a common practice for Athletic with young players recovering from serious injuries.

For the most part, Athletic have already made theplans for next year’s team which will also include a number of players being promoted from Basconia. The current football stoppage has cast doubt over the remainder of the season, but the Kumeak could still have the opportunity to compete in the promotional playoffs.

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