Liverpool make early transfer approach amid contract delay

Iker Muniain

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Liverpool want to pounce on Iker Muniain’s contract uncertainty with Athletic Bilbao with the view to signing the forward on a free transfer in the summer, Sky Sports reports.

The Bilbao winger’s development has been interrupted by long-term ligament injuries suffered in recent years having emerged as one of La Liga’s most highly-rated youngsters almost 10 years ago.

Still only 25, Muniain has four goals in nine La Liga appearances for Bilbao this term and even captained the Basque outfit in a draw against Eibar earlier this month.

But the Spain international’s current contract expires in June and that has seen potential suitors begin to circle.

According to Marca via Sport Witness, both Liverpool and Serie A side Napoli have already made offers to Muniain.

Though the publication do not clear up whether or not those offers are for a January move or for summer, it is expected the approaches are over a Bosman deal for next summer.

Muniain remains an important member of the Bilbao squad having scored 51 goals and provided 35 assists in 357 first-team appearances for the club.

It is said that the attacker might prefer to stay at the San Mames Stadium, where he has played his entire career having joined Los Leones at the age of 12 in 2005.

He made his debut aged just 16 and remains the youngest player ever to play for Athletic with the club still sticking to their policy of only signing players from the Basque region.

Yet he would be an attractive option to Jurgen Klopp’s side given his versatility. Muniain is capable of playing anywhere across the front three and could be a useful back up to Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane out wide in particular.

While Xherdan Shaqiri has impressed for Liverpool since joining from Stoke City in the summer, the Swiss international has generally performed best in an advanced No 10 role in midfield.


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