Ezquerro hits out at Macua
Santiago Ezquerro has slammed Athletic Bilbao president Fernando Garcia Macua for not signing him.
By Luca Brown
Last Updated: 04/09/07 12:15pm
Santiago Ezquerro has hit out at Athletic Bilbao president Fernando Garcia Macua for not signing him last week and claimed that he feels he has been tricked.
The Barcelona forward was expecting to leave Camp Nou in the summer and thought he had an agreement to return to San Mames.
Athletic's new president stated that he would sign the player if he won the election, but after winning the vote then back-tracked and changed the agreement.
"He did not stick to his word," Ezquerro told Sport.
"I turned down some good offers, including one from Osasuna, to sign for Athletic, but I have been tricked.
"I have not stayed with Barcelona because I wanted to.
"There was an offer to return to Athletic on the table right up until the final transfer day and when I decided to accept on Friday afternoon, the president offered me different conditions to the ones we had agreed.
"I always felt that the people there were serious and stood by their word."
Ezquerro also revealed that Macua offered him money if he allowed him to state that he would sign him to help win the presidency, but the player turned down the cash.
"What has happened is not that strange as the president offered me money to be able to use my name in his election campaign," Ezquerro continued.
"I turned that down because if I go back then it will be for Athletic and not for the president.
"I also asked him to come and help negotiate a free transfer for me, but instead he sent a representative to talk on his behalf.
"I am a bit sickened by the fact that the president stated that he wanted to sign me and leaked things to the press in Bilbao that were not true and now he has gone back on his word."
Before Barca's game against Athletic on Sunday, Ezquerro was even more shocked when he spoke to the visitors' coach Joaquin Caparros about the saga.
"I explained to him why I had not come and he said he was a bit surprised because he knew nothing about it," he explained.
Despite being told by Frank Rijkaard that he is part of his Barcelona squad, Ezquerro recognises that his chances will be limited and he is ready to move in the winter transfer window.
"I will try to do my best over the next few months, but I know that it is very difficult because of the strong competition here," he added.