As he drops Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente from the Athletic Bilbao squad again, Marcelo Bielsa denies that he has any bad relationships at the club.
The Coach had a falling out with the hierarchy earlier this summer over his decision to publicly criticise refurbishment work taking place at Athletic’s training complex.
However, Bielsa has denied that it has left him and President Jose Urrutia on bad terms, or considering his future.
“From what I say of the refurbishment work going on, I must now be careful to only speak the truth,” began Bielsa at today’s Press conference.
“I have no problem with Urrutia, he is a good man. It was the club that I labelled as dishonest and he did not allow that.
“I feel connected to the club even if I cannot forget how I was treated. That’s not to say I do not feel like I belong here.”
Equally, the Coach has looked to confirm that there are no issues between himself and wantaway duo Llorente and Martinez, nor with Fernando Amorebieta, who is rumoured to be struggling to agree terms on a new contract.
“I deny that Amorebieta is not training with the group as a result of negotiations with the club. The club would need my intervention to make such a scenario so, to be complicit in such a thing would be despicable.
“It is unfair what is being reported and I deny it. In addition, Toquero and Susaeta are in the same situation as Amorebieta, which rules out the scenario.
“Athletic is going through a difficult time and it is not helped by malicious information.
“[Meanwhile], I asked Llorente and Martinez if I was the reason that they did not want to stay at the club and both said no.
“If they had answered ‘yes’ then I would have acted accordingly.
“I try to make everyone at Athletic feel more comfortable and I am not thinking of leaving the club.”
Bielsa did confirm that Llorente and Martinez will not be included in the squad to face HJK this Thursday in the Europa League.
It is messy time for Athletic. They had such a good season last year and it was be extremely difficult to replace players like Llorent and Martinez. The flip side is that the cash they receive will make Athletic one of the few clubs in Spain without any debt.