The absence of Unai Nuñez and Inigo Vicente at yesterday’s training can only be interpreted as the preamble the imminent departure of the two. Rumors activated for days place them outside Ernesto Valverde’s plans and are now reinforced by their sudden absence at Lezama. Only the existence of conversations with the clubs where they could meet, it seems the central defender of Celta and the striker of Racing de Santander, would explain why they stopped working alongside their colleagues. This stage is identical to that which preceded the farewells of Jokin Ezkieta, made official on Monday, and of Iñigo Córdoba, whose departure was made public yesterday morning.
In the cases of Nuñez and Vicente, it is currently a relative unknown what will be the contractual formula that will allow the change of scenery. The assignment or sale and whether it includes a buyback option appear to be the alternatives to consider in the absence of concrete news. In this sense, it is striking that Athletic have reserved the possibility of buying Ezkieta, a goalkeeper who has barely intervened in competition over three seasons, after agreeing to terminate the remaining year of his contract and letting him commit. with Racing. Although it is assumed that no two circumstances are identical, that each player is a story, after seeing what has been seen, it is hard to believe that in Ibaigane they will give up using the same criteria, at least with Nuñez, who has a long history in the highest category.
Also, following Nuñez, it should be noted that his contract with Athletic expires in 2025 and that his record far exceeds the figures that govern the Celta locker room, resulting in a transfer and the consequent distribution of his emoluments between the two entities. Undoubtedly, the heart of conversations. From Vigo they insist that the operation be closed now. It is obvious that the departure of two of their central defenders (Murillo and Araujo) gives urgency to the initiative taken by Celta to strengthen their defense, but what is happening in addition is that those led by Eduardo Coudet go to the United States. this Monday, where they will perform a concentration. It makes sense that the Argentine coach wants to get rid of Nuñez immediately and therefore can register new developments at any time. The Galician team is in full renovation in all lines of the campus. There is talk of Nuñez, Neto (Barcelona goal) and the realist Lobete, who would join those already captured De la Torre, Óscar Rodríguez and Swedberg.
The dismissal of Vicente has the particularity that he has already been loaned twice, alternately, to Mirandés, where he showed his class in the decisive meters. However, it seems that this gift did not convince Athletic officials. He’s been underutilized with Garitano and Marcelino and events suggest Valverde doesn’t want to have a footballer who stands out for his exquisite technical repertoire and ease in resolving attacking moves. Vicente is accused of little involvement in tasks without the ball, despite the fact that he assures that he has improved in this facet.
Maybe this time his departure includes the sale. At 24, Vicente may prefer a different route to the top flight given the evidence that Athletic never cease to appreciate his qualities. It also happens that the high concentration of men who can act on the left wing becomes an additional disadvantage: Muniain, Serrano, Morcillo, Berenguer, Nico Williams…
In this context, Iñigo Córdoba’s farewell must be appreciated. finally yesterday the club have seen fit to reveal that they have decided not to execute the extension of their contract until 2025, which would have been activated automatically if he had stayed with the Bilbao winger. Córdoba extended his tie with Athletic in one year, until 2023, and was loaned to the Dutch league. In the ranks of the modest Go Ahead Eagles, he was indisputable and scored twelve goals, an extraordinary figure from any point of view, which however was not enough to convince the current leaders of the entity.
It is therefore shown that taking full advantage of a transfer that seemed ungrateful does not guarantee the return. Without even being someone who has already played a hundred games dressed in red and white. The thing is Athletic rejected the asset of owning Córdoba, which did not have an exorbitant record, check whether it has consolidated its progress and, if not, resell it later on the market. And perhaps the most curious thing is that the kid didn’t train a single day with the others and it was only yesterday that the club clarified his situation. It would be for haggling over the money that matched him.
By the way, since yesterday Valverde has a few more troops, because Unai Vencedor and Julen Agirrezabala returned to the stand. In order to compensate for the fact that they were busy longer due to their international commitments, their vacation period was extended and they were given one week more rest than the bulk of the group. Unai Simón and Iñigo Martínez will be back shortly.
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