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Athletic Bilbao keen to sign three former players

Athletic Bilbao

Kolkata, January 10: La Liga side Athletico Bilbao's sporting director Rafael Alkorta has confirmed their interest in bringing three of their former players which include Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, Tottenham Hotspur's Fernando Llorente and Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez.

The La Liga outfit only sign players who are from the Basque Country - an autonomous community in northern Spain - and are hence limited when it comes to the players they can target.

And with Bilbao fighting relegation battle at the moment, sitting just two points above relegation zone, their new Sporting director has suggested that his side are thinking of bringing some of their ex-players to stable the sinking ship next year.

The Spanish side have outlined three players on the basis of their contractual situation and Herrera, Llorente, Ibai Gomez all of them would be able to rejoin their former club for free at the end of the season.

Martinez, however, is on a deal until 2021 at the Allianz Arena and is hence expected to command a transfer fee.

'We are interested in Javi Martinez, Ibai Gomez, Ander Herrera, Fernando Llorente... we are interested in all of them," Alkorta told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

'Any player who can represent Athletic (through their Basque roots) will interest us and players in that quality bracket interest us, so yes.

'We are aware none of these deals would be easy but we are interested in exploring the possibilities of what we can do.

'We have not made any moves yet but we will get to work this week and get going on these fronts.'

United midfielder Herrera is out of contract in the summer and no new contract talks have been surfaced yet, although reports suggested that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has convinced the 29-year-old to extend his deal with the club.

Another target, veteran forward Llorente’s contract also expires at the end of the season, and it is unlikely he will be offered an extension which will allow the 33-year-old to decide his own destiny.

Regarding Javi Martinez, though the 32-year-old midfielder is still getting a regular shot with the first team action, with the Bavarian side prepared to freshen up an ageing squad he could lose his spot which might tempt him to come back to his old club from where he rose up to the prominence.

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    Story first published: Thursday, January 10, 2019, 13:48 [IST]
    Other articles published on Jan 10, 2019
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