Club reportedly fear that £25m Everton and West Ham target is 'certain' to leave

Carlo Ancelotti, Manager of Everton shakes hands with Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City ahead of the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton FC at Etihad Stadium...

Premier League quartet Everton, West Ham United, Arsenal and Manchester City have been linked with Athletic Bilbao's La Liga star Unai Nunez.

Unai Nunez of Athletic Club in action during the Liga match between CD Leganes and Athletic Club at Estadio Municipal de Butarque on September 25, 2019 in Leganes, Spain.

Athletic Bilbao fear that star centre-back Unai Nunez is ‘almost certain’ to leave the San Mames this month, according to El Gol Digital, with West Ham United, Manchester City and Everton keen on the impressive Spaniard.

The 22-year-old has certainly proved himself as a man for the big occasion this season. After starting the campaign with a supreme performance in a 1-0 triumph over La Liga champions Barcelona, Nunez helped Athletic keep another clean sheet against none other than Real Madrid – marking the occasion with a scarcely-believable back heel goal-line clearance to deny a stunned Karim Benzema.

 

With those displays still fresh in the mind, the Spain international’s £25 million release clause looks a snip. West Ham are willing to pay the fee, AS reports, while Everton and Arsenal have also shown an interest (The Mail).

According to El Gol Digital, however, Manchester City are now the most likely destination for Nunez. Athletic have failed to convince the defender to renew his contract and the Basque giants are now convinced that a January departure is all-but inevitable.

Unai Nunez of Athletic Club Bilbao safe a goal during the Liga match between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao on December 22, 2019 in Madrid, Spain.

City’s vulnerable underbelly already appears to have cost them the Premier League title this season and, with John Stones’s injury problems becoming a real concern and Nicolas Otamendi looking increasingly error-prone, Pep Guardiola would surely welcome the arrival of Nunez at the Etihad.

West Ham and Everton have money to spend too, however, with two of the top flight’s biggest underachievers arguably one centre-back short. The Toffees, despite conceding just four goals in six games since Carlo Ancelotti took over, have just Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate to choose from.

Carlo Ancelotti of Everton during the FA Cup Third Round match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on January 5, 2020 in Liverpool, England.

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