Athletic Bilbao are reported today as considering but still reluctant to make a move in January for Real Betis man Benat Etxebarria.
The midfielder is currently in negotiations with his Andalucian employers over terms for a new contract with Los Beticos.
However, the club’s admission that those talks have not as far progressed, combined with strong transfer links last summer has led to speculation of the player’s future returning.
Benat’s current deal expires in June 2013, making him free to negotiation terms for a Bosman move with interested parties from January and Arsenal and Liverpool are both said to be sniffing around the prospect.
Canal Athletic are reporting that Athletic are still keen on the player and would be prepared to make a bid in the winter market to ensure they capture the 25-year-old, who developed in their youth academy before leaving in 2009.
However, the Basques are also described as reluctant to make a move due to Betis’ determination to only sell for his €20m buyout clause. It is alleged that just like Wolfsburg, Los Leones had an offer in the summer for the Spain international turned down.
Athletic themselves have taken a similar position to Real Betis with regards to Fernando Llorente’s expiring contract.
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