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Athletic Bilbao’s Beñat emerges as surprise Real Betis target

Beñat may bring an end to his second spell at Athletic Club and return to former side Real Betis if the Andalusians get their wish, according to reports.

Mundo Deportivo say that the 31-year-old is one of their main targets this summer as Quique Setién and co look to add strength in depth ahead of their return to Europa League football.

Betis secured European football for the first time since they finished 7th in Beñat’s final season in 2012/13.

Beñat’s struggles in Bilbao

It has been a difficult campaign at San Mames for the central midfielder, making only 12 LaLiga starts under José Ángel Ziganda who will depart the club this summer.

Known for his excellent passing ability, the Basque player would fit in well in Setién’s system with his style of play and the reason for his interest is clear.

Betis’ midfield shortlist

Getting Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos back is the club’s first choice target, ahead of Beñat, with Marcos Llorente from Los Blancos and Newcastle’s Mikel Merino also under consideration.

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The Seville based club were paid €10 million by Athletic in 2013 and early reports indicate that Betis would be happy to spend that fee to re-sign him.

However, it will not be easy given that Beñat is under contract until 2020 and has a release clause of €50 million, though it’s not clear if they would be prepared to cash in giving his advancing age and struggle for form.

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