Athletic Close To Finalizing Contract Renewal With Gaizka Garitano
Gaizka Garitano’s future with Athletic has never been in doubt. Despite the manager being regularly criticized by a portion of fans, the club has always backed the Mister and his renewal has been treated as an expectation all season. Like last year, Garitano wanted to wait until later in the campaign to negotiate his new deal and since returning to training negotiations have already begun.
The club has never considered hiring another manager and Garitano’s only intention has been to sign a renewal with Athletic. Although conversations are still in the early stages, Javier Ortiz De Lazcano of El Correo has reported that both sides are looking to set a date to meet in person and hope to finalize the agreement quickly. The only real question at this point is the duration of the contract.
Last year Garitano signed a renewal for one season and is expected to do the same once again. Aitor Elizegi has often said that he would like Garitano to continue as manager throughout his entire presidential term, which would be two-and-a-half more years, but the manager is said to prefer a shorter contract.
Finalizing Garitano’s new deal will also allow the club to focus on other matters moving forward. Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta has said on multiple occasions that all plans for next season will be decided along with Garitano. With the manager under a new contract Athletic can finally sort out the futures of Mikel San José and Beñat, as well as start working on possible transfers with Javi Martinez and Alex Berenguer being the club’s top targets.