In an interview with TeleBilbao that appeared on Marca, the Athletic Bilbao president discussed the latest transfer rumours surrounding the club.
Nico Williams was called up to the Spanish national team in the most recent international break and Jon Uriarte is very pleased with the 20-year-old’s development:
“When someone as young as Nico arrives, we send the message that you have to keep your feet on the ground and this has only just begun. You have to work very hard to stay at the top and keep growing. Athletic is the best place for someone like Nico to develop.”
Athletic Bilbao’s tradition of only playing players who are from or have a connection to the Basque country means that they only have a limited pool of players that they can choose from.
Thus, the club president revealed that the Basque side hopes to encourage its players to stay at San Mamés for their whole career, including someone like Nico Williams, who has attracted interest from Europe’s top clubs:
“All the work that is done on transfers, negotiations and assignments is done internally. We have perfectly identified the talent and this call-up has not opened our eyes. We want these great players to stay with us for their entire career and the club is working on that.”
Uriarte wants Iñigo Martínez, who was linked with a move to Barcelona, to stay at Athletic Bilbao as well:
“Iñigo is a very important player with a fundamental role. A great player. We believe he can contribute a lot to the team’s performance this season. Regarding a potential renewal, which we discuss in-house, we would love him to be able to develop his entire career at Athletic as long as it fits within the economic means of our club.”