Athletic Target Alex Berenguer Reportedly Staying Put At Torino
A move for Alex Berenguer has been all but ruled out for Athletic this summer. The Torino winger has been a transfer target for the Zurigorri since before he left Osasuna, but would cost Athletic at least €8-10 million due in part to the anti-Athletic clause in his contract. With limited funds and other players coming through in the position, Berenguer won’t be coming to San Mamés before the window closes.
“Any player who can put on the Athletic shirt is interesting for us, but we have not gone for any player,” Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta said in an interview with Fuera de Juego back in May. “Berenguer is player who can play with us. We have the reports on him and we’ve seen his matches with Torino.”
However, Alkorta recently made it clear in a press conference that Athletic won’t be making any transfer signings this summer. “If they have a valid contract with other clubs, we can’t do anything,” he said. “There are players who have a contract and we’re not going to get involved. When those contracts end then we will talk.”
Athletic will instead put their faith in Lezama with transfers not an option. For now, the club is betting on Iñigo Córdoba, Iñigo Vicente, and Jon Morcillo on the left-wing instead of pursuing Berenguer. The biggest factor is the financial impact of the pandemic and missing out on Europe, but Athletic also trust the players already in the team.
On Sunday reports surfaced which claimed that Granada were close to reaching a deal for Berenguer and that Real Betis were also monitoring the player. Seeing Berenguer sign with another club from La Liga would be disappointing, but it likely won’t happen. While Granada and Betis are interested, Javier Beltrán of AS has reported that Torino have no plans to sell the 25-year-old this summer with two years left on his contract.
Last season Berenguer scored 5 goals and provided 4 assists in 35 appearances with Torino. Although Athletic would like to bring the Osasuna product to San Mamés, it’s just not a possibility this summer. If Alex Berenguer continues to play at a high level and doesn’t leave for another club, there’s a very good chance that Athletic could return for his signature next year.