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Eibar set for end of season turnaround

Eibar look set to have a totally refreshed club next season with a host of players, as well as manager Jose Luis Mendilibar, destined for the Ipurua exit door.

Boss Mendilibar has done a fantastic job with the Basque minnows this season, following 14th and 10th placed finishes in his first two seasons at the helm, Los Armeros currently sit 11th in La Liga and are still in with a shout of an unlikely Europa League qualifying place.

His work hasn’t gone unnoticed with fellow Basque clubs Real Sociedad and Athletic Club having expressed an interest in his services, along with many other Primera clubs and Eibar are believed to have set him a deadline of March 31st to make a decision on his future at Ipurua.

Athletic have already signed two players from Eibar, with full back Ander Capa and captain Dani Garcia moving to San Mames at the end of the season.

Capa and Garcia are the only players currently at Eibar that were part of the squad who achieved back to back promotions in 2013 and 2014 making it all the way from Segunda B to La Liga.

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Japanese wideman Takashi Inui was dropped for their last league game, a 2-1 defeat at Levante, after making clear to president Amaia Gorostiza his desire to join Real Betis in the summer.

Inui has scored 10 times in 88 games in Spain but he can be replaced with the emergence of Ivan Alejo as well as loanee Fabian Orellana proving beneficial to the team this season.

Orellana is one of seven more players whose contracts run out in the summer along with Ivan Ramis, David Junca, Pedro Leon, Vukasin Jovanovic, Fran Rico and Charles but Eibar are expected to take up the option to buy Orellana and Jokanovic from Valencia and Bordeaux respectively.

Pedro Leon has just recently returned from injury with Eibar understandably keen to extend the former Real Madrid player’s contract beyond the summer.

Gonzalo Escalante has had less minutes on the pitch this season down to the performances of Garcia, Joan Jordan and Papa Diop and he is also believed to want to leave at the end of the season.

It’s not all bad news for Eibar however with no less than EIGHT players currently out on loan at teams in La Liga and La Liga 123.

Centre back Alex Galvez is the most high profile of those names and he is currently with Paco Jemez at Las Palmas but is expected to be back in the north of Spain next season.

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Former Manchester United winger Bebe is at Rayo Vallecano while Christian Rivera, Jordi Calavera, Nano Mesa and Pablo Hervias are also at sides in the Segunda on a short term basis.

Numancia currently have Pere Milla and Unai Elgezebal on loan from Eibar too with those eight players all likely to return to Ipurua and fight for a first team place next season.

The possibility of Europe, although a dream, may not be the best option for Eibar with the revolving door of players and staff likely to be a hindrance to the side’s chances of remaining in the top flight beyond next season so perhaps it would be better if they failed in their quest for seventh place.

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