With a few weeks remaining before the transfer window officially opens, Athletic Club’s interest in Alex Berenguer now has added drama. Napoli are also eyeing a move for the winger and are believed to be ready to top Athletic’s offer. However, in an interview with Fuera de Juego, Osasuna President Luis Sabalza revealed that the Lions are the only club to have made an offer for the 21-year-old.
“Athletic is the only club that has submitted a bid for Alex Berenguer. Napoli is interested, but there’s been no official offer. We remain firm in our request for Berenguer’s release clause which is €9 million. Athletic’s offer is €4 million plus €1 million in variables. If Napoli does not make an offer, we will continue to communicate with Athletic. We will continue to refer clubs to his release clause, but if someone were to make an offer close to the €9 million then we would consider it.”
It is believed that Napoli are willing to offer Osasuna €6 million plus €1 million in variables, but they have yet to make that bid official. Still, Osasuna’s demand for a club to match Berenguer’s release clause has given them the upper hand in negotiations. To this point Athletic Club has remained firm that they will not raise their bid in hopes that Osasuna’s financial problems will force them to accept the bid. In fact, the Lions will not even entertain the idea of increasing their offer unless Napoli submits something official.
Athletic Club wants to add depth at the left wing position and view Berenguer as the perfect addition. Additionally, his ability to play left-back would give the squad more versatility and allow Cuco Ziganda to tinker with different systems when needed. Signing the 21-year-old is no sure thing right now, but the Lions are hopeful that they will be able to make the move happen before the summer is over and bring the Osasuna starlet to the San Mames. If not, Inigo Cordoba is waiting in the wings and is already set to spend the preseason with the first team.