Athletic’s interest in Osasuna winger Alex Berenguer is not going away anytime soon. The last time the two clubs spoke the Lions refused to increase their bid of €4 million plus €1 million in variables. Since then, rumors suggested that Napoli would be willing to offer a bid of €5 million plus €2 million in variables. For a while it has looked like Athletic would be beaten out, but their latest negotiations have peaked Osasuna’s interests.
According to an exclusive report from El Correo, Athletic and Osasuna have discussed the possibility of the Lions sending a player on loan in addition to their bid for Berenguer and their neighbors are pleased with the idea.
To begin with it should be noted that even sending a player the other way on loan may not be enough. Although Osasuna President Luis Sabalza loves the idea, he is still requesting that Athletic increase their previous monetary bid as well. The Lions have remained firm that they will not put any more money on the table and they are hoping that they can convince their neighbors to accept the deal with the help of loaning players the other way.
There are three players that Osasuna have their eye on. First is young goalkeeper Alex Remiro who does not have a place in the first team this summer. Cuco Ziganda was already planning on sending him out on loan and Osasuna could now be that destination. Left-back Urtzi Iriondo has also caught their eye after finishing a strong campaign on loan at Elche. Not only would this loan give the 22-year-old more experience, but it would also give Osasuna a player to take Berenguer’s place in the team.
The last player, and most controversial, that Osasuna would like to sign is Mikel Vesga. The midfielder joined Sporting Gijon on loan in January and was arguably the best player in the squad for the rest of the season. He has proven that he can play in the Primera and many believe that he is definitely in Ziganda’s plans for the upcoming season. Going on loan to the Segunda would be a step down for Vesga and it is highly unlikely that Athletic would let him leave, especially if they believe he can play a role at the San Mames this season.
At some point something has to give in the Alex Berenguer saga. The winger already has a four year contract in place with Athletic and all that is remaining is to reach an agreement with Osasuna. It remains to be seen if the Lions will push the deal over the top by offering players on loan, but it could definitely help everyone involved. Berenguer has already informed the club that he wants to leave to play top flight football and Athletic is ready to give him that chance.