Josu Urrutia has seemingly confirmed that Fernando Llorente will be reintroduced to first-team affairs at Athletic Bilbao: “he could still change his mind.”
The striker was frozen out of first team duty during pre-season and into the 2012-13 campaign after informing Urrutia of his intention to not renew his contract beyond its expiry in June 2013.
However, recent days have seen him pulled back into the senior squad for training and he only missed out on a call-up to the weekend squad to face Real Valladolid through a hamstring injury.
His re-assimilation into Marcelo Bielsa’s plans was seemingly confirmed by President Urrutia today.
“Nobody knows how he will spend the next year and he could still change his mind, we are open to that,” the former Athletic midfielder reflected today.
“Llorente can offer the same performances or better than he produced last year. It is important, though, amongst all the players that the right atmosphere is generated.
“[The fans’ disapproval to Llorente] will not help the player not Athletic in general. Our position is that we are still not listening to offers for him.
“I know there are different opinions, but we have chosen a different method of competing. I am surprised because normally we do not talk about money, but in an event like this we are discussing profitability.
“You assume the end results believing they are the best for Athletic.”
The President confirmed that both Markel Susaeta and Fernando Amorebieta are close to agreeing contract extensions, before reflecting on the transfer dispensation of 30 days granted to the club in which to spend the €40m received for Javi Martinez.
“Our duty is to be attentive and discuss any reinforcements for the team, but with €40m we will not go crazy.
“We have a team that we are happy with and excited for, and we are committed to them.”