Athletic Bilbao sporting director Rafael Alkorta launched the club’s ambition recruitment plans for the transfer window, including a double-pronged Premier League raid reports the Daily Mail.
The Basque club, famous for only signing players born in the region, want a quartet of former stars to return to the San Mamés. Los Leones are embroiled in the La Liga relegation battle, currently sitting 17th, two points above Villarreal who occupy the final drop place.
Alkorta promised fans the club will “start work on deals this week” with Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, 29, whose contract at Old Trafford runs out in the summer. The Spain international moved to Manchester in 2014 in a £29m transfer after making 128 appearances in three seasons in Bilbao.
A more well-travelled former star is Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente, 33. Like Herrera and Alaves winger Ibai Gómez, 29, – who is also on Athletic’s wishlist – he is out of contract this summer. The striker spent nine years in the Basque region’s biggest city scoring 118 goals for Bilbao in 333 appearances. He left for Juventus in 2013, followed by spells with Sevilla and Swansea City before moving to White Hart Lane in 2017.
The trio are not as ambitious as plans to re-sign Javi Martinez, 30, who is under contract at Bayern Munich until 2021.