Yuri Berchiche appears to be Athletic Club‘s number one target this summer. The basque club have already splurged €32 million on reinforcing their back line during the January window when they brought Inigo Martinez to the club. This was of course, in reaction to the sale of Aymeric Laporte to Manchester City. The Bilbao club now want to further their strength at the back by bringing another former Real Sociedad player to San Mames.
Having moved to Paris Saint Germain only last summer for €16 million, Yuri has played a total of 32 games for the Ligue 1 champions. Yuri has however seen the left back duties being shared with Frenchman Layvin Kurzawa. Yuri was second fiddle to Kurzawa in the Champions League this past season and only played the two games against Real Madrid due to his teammate being injured.
It is believed the 28 year old is not part of Thomas Tuchel’s plans for the coming season, after he took over from new Arsenal manager Unai Emery this summer. On top of this, the Ligue 1 champions need to generate €60 million worth of sales before the end of June in order to avoid UEFA Financial Fair Play sanctions.
According to many sources including L’Equipe, Athletic Club have already made an offer of €20 million for Yuri. New Athletic Club manager Eduardo Berizzo is believed to want to add depth to his new team that finished well outside the European places last season – finishing in 16th place, a full 15 points behind Sevilla.
Such a move would make Yuri one of the Bilbao club’s best payed players along with Kepa Arrizabalaga, Inaki Williams and Inigo Martinez. It would also mark a return to the club where he came through the youth system.
Yuri left Spain for London club Tottenham Hotspur in 2007. Following a series of loans including time with Cheltenham Town, Real Valladolid and Real Union, the left back made a permanent move to Basque club Real Sociedad without ever making a first team appearance for Spurs.
Yuri made himself into a first team player in San Sabastian very quick and was one of the best left backs in Spain, justifying his move to Paris last summer. With the current financial situation and Tuchel not being convinced, this €20 million offer from Athletic Club may be the best for all parties involved. With Ander Capa already confirmed as an addition, Yuri would also add great depth to an under-performing team last season.