Negotiations between Athletic Bilbao striker Gaizka Toquero and the club over a new contract have stalled, reports El Correo.
The 28-year-old was widely expected to pen a fresh contract at San Mames but talks between Bilbao representatives – general manager Jon Berasategi and director of football Jose Maria Amorrortu – and the player’s agent Tomas Duran have reached an impasse.
The two parties were understood to be close to finalising a three-year contract for Toquero. However, he is believed to be asking for a significant increase on the €450,000-a-year salary he commands at present, a figure the Basque club is unwilling to improve upon.
Until now everything pointed to there being no problem to Toquero agreeing a new deal and President Josu Urrutia, asked in August about the forward’s continuity alongside that of midfielder Markel Susaeta, remained confident.
“I’m always optimistic and my idea is that Athletic players wish to remain here. If the club values them and makes the effort to keep them, then I can only think of a positive response on their part,” said Urrutia at the time.
It was a sentiment echoed by Toquero, who maintained ‘I have always loved the club and want to stay at Athletic’, and it is anticipated he will sit down within the next few days to try and thrash something out.