Athletic Looking To Finalize Renewal For Gaizka Garitano By The End Of May
Before the coronavirus pandemic brought football and life to a standstill, Athletic were preparing to begin contract negotiations with Gaizka Garitano. As always, the manager wanted to wait until later in the season to discuss his deal so as not to be a distraction, though always with the plan to continue at the club. Talks were expected to move rather quickly but the current health situation put everything on hold.
Now, with teams planning to return to training in early May, the two sides will resume negotiations. According to a report from Javier Ortiz De Lazcano of El Correo, Athletic intend to finalize the renewal with Garitano by the end of May or early June at the very latest. The manager’s contract is currently set to expire at the end of the season.
The Athletic Board has fervently backed Garitano as manager with president Aitor Elizegi and Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta regularly offering their support. Garitano already informed the club months ago that his intention was to stay at San Mamés and both sides have taken the renewal for granted while patiently waiting for the right time to negotiate the deal.
Athletic have enjoyed success under Garitano who took over the team in the midst of a relegation battle in December of last season. The Mister led the Lions up the table, missing out on Europe on the final day of the campaign, and currently has Athletic in the Copa del Rey final and five points off the top seven. Since taking over as manager Gaizka Garitano has secured 51.6% of the total points available in La Liga, the second highest percentage of any Athletic coach in the last 25 years.