Athletic insists that they “never” received an “official offer” for Iñigo Martínez


The president of Athletic Club, Jon Uriarte, and the general director of the entity, Jon Berasategi, explained the process by which the defender Iñigo Martínez has left the club, revealing that they presented a renewal offer to the player, while “never” They received “an official offer” from no other club, after the footballer and his agent announced last summer that he would not leave the team when his contract expired.

“Athletic has always wanted Iñigo Martínez to stay at Athletic. We presented as a club, with the previous Board of Directors, a written offer in April, the player valued it, we had some conversations. The renewal process concludes in May, when His representative transferred us that he wanted to wait for the arrival of the new president,” Berasategi started at a press conference this Friday.

The new board maintained the offer presented in April 2022, and the newly elected president, Jon Uriate, personally took charge of the negotiation last summer. “We met on July 11 for a very cordial meal and I reiterated Athletic’s interest in having Iñigo renew with us,” said the president.

“I reiterated this interest with written messages, and four days later the representative told me that they had an offer from an important club and that they wanted to leave,” Uriarte added about the process.

From then on, according to what was said by Berasategi, the rojiblanco club received a call from another team in which they were informed that they were interested in incorporating Iñigo Martínez. “I convey to them that it is vital for us and that we want him to stay. We did not receive any offer there, and Athletic has not received any official offer for Iñigo from any club,” the general manager emphasized.

“Before the end of the summer transfer window, the representative makes it clear, emphatically, that the player is in no case going to renew with Athletic, asking that we refrain from resuming any type of negotiation. Even so, there were some unsuccessful approaches and thus we reached the end of the player’s contract”, concluded the explanation of the Basque team about the controversial departure of the central defender, predictably to FC Barcelona.

Uriarte stressed that Athletic “has defended the professionalism of Iñigo Martínez until the last day of the contract.” “Things could have been done naturally, but due to various circumstances the situation is this. I wouldn’t like something like this to happen again with another player, we’ll do everything we can to do so. It has become clear who wanted the player to continue and who he wanted to leave”, the president settled his intervention.

In this appearance to take stock of the season, in which “ambitious objectives have not been met”, Athletic was “happy” with Ernesto Valverde’s work on the ‘lions’ bench. “We renewed him for stability, to better prepare for the following season in renewals such as Sancet and for being a coveted piece in the market. We did not want to take the risk that he could leave. He is our leader,” said Uriarte. .

“Valverde was willing to leave office. If we want, Ernesto would leave Athletic without any financial compensation in exchange. But we are clear about it, he is the right person to lead Athletic next season, he is the best option”, concluded.