Report - Manchester United and City 'next Xavi' target joins Athletic Bilbao in €8 million deal

Athletic Bilbao

It does not look like we will be seeing Real Betis' Benat Exteberria in Manchester next season.

A lot has been made this season over the performances of Real Betis midfielder Benat Exteberria. The 26-year-old has been in sublime form for Real Betis who have been shock contenders for the Champions League places for much of the campaign.

His excellent performances have even seen him dubbed the natural successor to Xavi in the Spanish national team and he has represented La Roja on four occasions since making his debut last season.

But that success has come at a price for Betis; who have seen their star man being linked with clubs around the continent with both Manchester United and Manchester City said to be huge admirers of the talismanic creator.

Four months ago I brought you the news that the club faced an unlikely rival for his signature in the form of fellow La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao - and it now seems as though that deal is complete according to reports in Spain.

Plenty of other teams including the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and even West Ham were all said to be interested in the player but Cope Sevilla can reveal that an €8 million deal which will see the Basque midfielder re-join his boyhood club on a five-year-deal this summer has been completed. An extra €2 million will be paid to Betis should Athletic qualify for the Champions League.

Bilbao have long wanted to make a big Basque signing after the Javi Martinez left the club for Bayern Munich and with Fernando Llorente and Fernando Amorebieta also leaving on free transfers this summer they needed a deal to boost morale after a sapping season at the foot of the table.

Benat is likely to have been lured to the club due to his Basque nationality and the pride that comes with playing for Bilbao; and four years after his release by the club he now looks set to become the lynchpin of their side.

But unfortunately for Premier League suitors; it appears the boat has float on this deal.

image: © birasuegi

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