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Berchiche joined Athletic to play against the best

New Athletic Bilbao signing Yuri Berchiche has said he joined the club to play against the best teams and wants Champions League football.

After a number of weeks negotiating a deal, Berchiche agreed terms with the Basque club two weeks ago – but an agreement over his transfer fee took a little longer.

Amidst talks between Athletic and Ligue 1 side PSG was interest from Atletico Madrid, who Berchiche was said to have agreed a deal to move to the Wanda Metropolitano.

With his options firmly open, Athletic desperately agreed a fee and they  confirmed via their official website last week that the deal has been completed, seeing him link up with his new team-mates on Monday.

And, speaking to the press following his move, the defender said of his ambitions at the San Mames.

“I have joined a team who want to qualify for the Champions League,” Berchiche said at a press conference.

“I want to play against the best teams and beat them, that’s why I have come here and to play at the highest level.

“I am delighted to join a club with such history and with their philosophy, for me it’s very exciting.

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“Eduardo Berizzo? A lot of players have told me about him and I believe he can help me improve my game, I like his philosophy.

“I was motivated to return to the club and everything now is in place to have a good season.”

The full-back moved to France from Real Sociedad in a €15m in 2017, but has been forced out due to the French club’s desire to meet Financial Fair Play regulations.

It is understood that Berchiche’s contract at Athletic is for four years and will include a €100m release clause.

Berchiche scored two goals and assisted five times in 32 appearances for PSG last season and he becomes the second former La Real player to join Athletic in six months, having seen Inigo Martinez switch to the new San Mames in January.

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