Bilbao capture Sarriegi
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Athletic Bilbao have captured Josu Sarriegi from Alaves.
Athletic Bilbao have captured Josu Sarriegi from Alaves after missing out on re-signing Aitor Ocio from Sevilla.
The Basque Country club had been in negotiations with Ocio and his advisors about a return to San Mames, but the player turned down the move.
After battling against the drop all season, Athletic are keen to bolster their squad which was always a priority.
The move for Sarriegi was given the green light after Ocio spoke on the phone with Athletic president, Fernando Lamikiz, and explained that he would be signing a new deal with Sevilla.
Despite having two years left on his contract at the Mendizorroza, Sarriegi was allowed to talk to Athletic by Alaves supremo Dmitri Piterman, who understood the central defender wanted to remain in the top flight.
"They did not want to lose the player, but they understood his reasons," explained Sarriegi's representative, Tomas Duran.
"Alaves felt unable to deny him the chance to stay in the first division and sign for Athletic."
Sarriegi has signed a four-year contract with Javier Clemente's side in a deal that could eventually cost Athletic around é¼2 million, depending on appearances.