Athletic Bilbao are being ambitious in their recruitment…
Athletic Bilbao chairman Josu Urrutia has named both Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal and Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta amongst the club’s transfer targets, reports the Daily Mirror.
The Spanish club are reportedly also interested in the futures of Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi and Atletico Madrid’s Raul Garcia. All four players fit the La Liga side’s policy of only signing players who are native to the Basque region or its neighbouring regions.
“There was interest from Athletic in players, although it was focused on Illarramendi. There are not so many players: [Asier] Illarramendi, Raúl García, [Nacho] Monreal, [César] Azpilicueta,” Urrutia told AS. “We have to be aware, monitoring– whether they continue at their clubs [or not], it’s because they are interesting.”
Of the two Premier League targets, Monreal is probably the more realistic transfer. The left-back has found it hard to become a first team regular at the Emirates, with Kieran Gibbs ahead of him in the pecking order when fit.
Meanwhile, Azpilicueta is unlikely to leave Stamford Bridge as he is one of Jose Mourinho’s favourites. The Portuguese once claimed that a team made of eleven of the Spaniard could win the Champions League in the Daily Mail.