Athletic Still Weighing Up Moves For Javi Martínez And Alex Berenguer

Alex Berenguer is the most likely target to join Athletic this summer (Sport)

The transfer windows closes in less than two weeks. Throughout the entire summer Athletic have chased the signings of Javi Martínez and Alex Berenguer, but are now running out of time. The club opted for patience in hopes of lowered prices. In recent days it’s seemed as though the transfers have fallen through, but Athletic haven’t given up on the moves.

Based on recent reports a deal for Javi Martínez was expected this week. When the midfielder was left out of Bayern Munich’s annual team picture it looked certain that he was on his way to Athletic. According to reports from El Correo and AS, Bayern would accept a transfer fee between €4 and €5 million. BILD maintains that Bayern want €10 million. Martínez is also said to be willing to lower his wages to return to Athletic, though it may not be enough.

With Martínez currently making roughly €8 million per year in Germany, Athletic are said to have asked the 32-year-old to cut his wages in half. Martínez prefers to join Athletic this summer, but such a large drop in wages isn’t ideal. The midfielder also has interest from clubs in other countries that would be capable of paying him close to what he makes with Bayern at the moment.

On the other hand, Berenguer is still seen as the more likely transfer this summer, per Marca. Torino has asked for €10 million to sell Berenguer, with €1.5 million owed to Osasuna, but Athletic still believe the fee can be lowered. If Berenguer were to join Athletic his wages would be slightly increased from what he’s currently earning with Torino, though still in line with the average income for players at San Mamés.

As the last day of the transfer window draws closer Athletic must make difficult decisions. At this point it’s still possible that the club could sign both Javi Martínez and Alex Berenguer, though just as possible that neither deal gets done. The Basque giants have waited as long as possible to lower the price tags. Finances are still a serious issue following the pandemic, but the club hasn’t given up on the transfers. The countdown is on.

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