Urrutia: No Athletic-Benat deal

Athletic Bilbao President Josu Urrutia has denied that the club have reached an agreement with Real Betis for Benat Etxebarria.

Reports this morning had it that the Basques had reached an initial €8m deal with Betis to re-sign the 26-year-old creative talent, who they originally released on a free transfer in 2009.

However, in considering that and also rumours surrounding Coach Marcelo Bielsa’s future, Athletic’s President has suggested that plans for next season are not yet started.

“The news is false. That is what Athletic communicate and I guess Betis also,” Urrutia told reporters today.

“Thankfully we did not as their President and I came together today at a meeting at the Spanish Football Federation…

“It is completely false. In matters related to next year, until survival is guaranteed we will remain quiet.

“It is convenient to remain vigilant, but from there, there is not much urgency to make decisions for next year.

“Bielsa’s future? To start assessing, we must know where we will be next year. In football anything can happen and there will come a time to talk about the future.

“It is not a matter of taste, if Bielsa continues. We must defend the interests of Athletic in the best way possible. I do not understand why there is such a rush.”

Urrutia was asked why the club made a statement in January regarding Fernando Llorente talking to Juventus about a Bosman move, but nothing came out about Fernando Amorebieta’s discussions with Fulham.

“Yes Fulham communicated with us. With Llorente, making it public was a simple matter, as with Juventus it was in the air that we wanted to sell him [in January] so the communication was to show that we were not going to sell him.

“Amorebieta was with Fulham a month ago and we could not negotiate a sale with them.”

Tags Benat Bielsa Urrutia