Swansea City rival La Liga sides for Basque defender Jon Aurtenetxe

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Espanyol and Levante also want Jon Aurtenetxe from Athletic Club Bilbao, as Swansea City rekindle their previous interest for the defender.

Athletic Club Bilbao defender Jon Aurtenetxe is the focus of attention for Swansea City, according to a report from the Basque edition of El Correo, who acknowledge it isn't the first time the Welsh club have expressed their interest.

Swansea reportedly offered €200,000 in the January transfer window, for a first option to sign the 23-year-old in the summer, although on that occasion the bid was rejected by Athletic Club president Josu Urrutia.

Back to demonstrate their interest in Aurtenetxe remains serious, The Swans have once again approached Athletic Club to enquire about the current situation of the player.

Aurtenetxe, who can operate as a left-back or central defender, is amongst a list of players deemed surplus to requirements at Los Leones, who are now more willing to listen to offers this time around.

However, there will also be competition from other La Liga sides who are keen on the player, with the reports suggesting Espanyol and Levante are also set to make formal offers, and are monitoring the situation very carefully.

The 2014-15 season proved a difficult one for Aurtenetxe, who was limited to just four appearances in La Liga, two in the Copa del Rey and one in the Europa League.

A product of the Athletic Club youth system at Lezama, the breakthrough for Aurtenetxe came with his first-team debut in the Europa League against Werder Bremen, in December 2009.

From there, he gradually became a more important part of the first-team squad. During the 2011-12 and 2012-13 campaigns, he was a key defender for the team, though all that changed when Valverde became manager.

Aurtenetxe was subsequently loaned out to Celta Vigo for the entirety of the 2013-14 season, where he made 20 appearances in La Liga, but since returning to Athletic Club, his playing options have been limited.

The choice ahead for Aurtenetxe, is whether to accept a higher salary playing in the Premier League with Swansea, albeit with the caveat that he'll likely be a rotation player, or choose the guarantees of more regular starts in La Liga, which Espanyol and Levante will both be keen to offer him.

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