Athletic In Talks To Sign Torino Winger Alex Berenguer
Gaizka Garitano revealed unexpected news on Thursday when the manager addressed the media in a press conference. “Our squad can be improved,” the manager said when admitting that he’s asked the club for signings. “We are open to improving the team and they are working well on that.”
Weeks earlier Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta essentially ruled out any transfer signings this summer. Funds are limited following the pandemic and the manager is aware that signings may not be possible, but the club is working to grant Garitano’s request.
Javi Martínez has long been the top prize, though Alex Berenguer is the most likely transfer target to actually make the move to San Mamés this summer. According to an exclusive report from Javier Ortiz De Lazcano of El Correo, Athletic have opened talks with Torino over a possible deal for Berenguer and have even been in contact with the player as well.
With the transfer window open until 5 October the club is in no hurry to get a deal done. Torino are currently asking for €12 million for Berenguer which Athletic have no intention of paying, but are hopeful that the price will go down with time. Torino are said to be willing to cash in on Berenguer following the pandemic and Athletic want to bring the 25-year-old to the club if an affordable deal can be reached.
Athletic have tried to sign Berenguer in the past when the winger played for Osasuna. However, the previous Board were unwilling to pay his then €9 million release clause. Berenguer was sold to Torino for €5.5 million instead in a deal that included an anti-Athletic clause which would see Osasuna paid €1.5 million if the player is ever sold to Athletic.
Berenguer would be a good addition to the current Athletic squad. Normally a left-winger, the Osasuna product can also play on the right and at fullback. In 36 games with Torino last season Berenguer scored six goals and provided four assists to help the club avoid relegation. Athletic are in need of more options in attack and Alex Berenguer could be a solution if the two clubs can come to a reasonable agreement this summer.