Spanish side Athletic Bilbao have confirmed on their official website that Ander Iturraspe will leave the club at the end of the season on a free transfer – strengthening a potential move to Leeds United.
Newspaper AS claimed back in February that Leeds were exploring the possibility of bringing the 30-year-old midfielder to Elland Road. It would see the Spain international form a reunion with Marcelo Bielsa.
A stalwart for Bilbao, Iturraspe has clocked up an enormous 320 appearances for the La Liga side. But he has only managed five outings in all competitions for Bilbao this season, and is now set to leave.
Bilbao confirmed on their official website that he would be leaving – 20 years after first joining Bilbao in 1999 as a 10-year-old academy star. It could mean that a potential move to Elland Road is on the cards.
Iturraspe joins fellow central midfielder Mikel Rico in leaving the top-tier side, who have once again shone in La Liga to sit in seventh place – and only two points off sixth with three league games to play.
Leeds certainly need additions in the middle of the park, and bringing in a player with experience of how Bielsa likes to play is key. It would allow Iturraspe to hit the ground running under the Argentine manager.
A move could depend on whether Leeds gain promotion to the Premier League, though. Having played in the top tier of Spanish football his entire footballing life, Iturraspe will have offers left, right and centre.
Leeds will prove to be a much more tantalising option – with Bielsa – if they win the play-offs. In terms of whether he would be a good signing, Leeds simply have to sign him especially considering he is available for nothing.