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Athletic Bilbao make plans to rebuild ‘Basque roots’

Athletic Bilbao make plans to rebuild ‘Basque roots’

Athletic Bilbao have confirmed that they are interested in making moves for Javi Martinez, Ander Herrera, Ibai Gomez and Fernando Llorente.

Presidential elections took place just before the winter break in La Liga, seeing Josu Urrutia replaced by Aitor Elizegi and the club are now busy preparing a drastic change.

The Basque club have had a poor season and sit dangerously near the bottom of the La Liga standings, sacking Eduardo Berizzo in December and replacing him with Gaizka Garitano.

Change came just before the winter break in terms of management as Eduardo Berizzo was sacked from his role and replaced by Gaizka Garitano.

Promises of a new philosophy and change in direction, Elizegi has a big task on his hands at the San Mames.

But, early indications seem positive and after the win over Celta Vigo at the weekend – the club have now announced that they will actively look to bring back four of their former players.

Manchester United’s Ander Herrera, Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez, Tottenham Hotspur’s Fernando Llorente and Alaves’ Ibai Gomez are all mentioned in a conversation between sporting director Rafael Alkorta and Cadena Ser.

“We are interested in Javi Martinez, Ibai Gomez, Ander Herrera, Fernando Llorente … we are interested in all of them,” Alkorta said.

“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.”

Whilst the interest in those players seem far fetched, the club is now in a financial position to make such moves. A return to the days of Europa League triumphs over Manchester United then – could be on the cards.

Could Athletic sign the four mentioned players?