Why Athletic Club has opened up to the global transfer market
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Why Athletic Club has opened up to the global transfer market
by Jonathan Rest

La Liga club joins TransferRoom to attract a wider pool of buyers for their talents, complementing a unique transfer strategy of only recruiting Basque players.

We know the TransferRoom platform can open doors to foreign markets to make the Athletic Club brand known and to collaborate in the loan or sale of our players. 
Mikel Gonzalez
Sports Development Director & Loan Manager, Athletic Club

'Opening doors to foreign markets'

 

Athletic Club is a rare commodity in world football, fielding only players born or raised in the Basque regions of Spain and France.

 

It means their incoming transfer business is limited, with first-team squad numbers boosted annually by youth players promoted from La Cantera, the famed Athletic academy in Bilbao.

 

With a requirement to fuel the first team, La Cantera is one of the busiest providers of talent in Spain.

 

For Mikel Gonzalez, Sports Development Director & Loan Manager at Athletic Club, there is added pressure to find the right opportunities: for those players in need of senior experience; and those whose permanent futures lie elsewhere.

 

It’s why Gonzalez and Athletic Club have turned to TransferRoom. With a global network of more than 650 clubs from over 60 countries, the platform broadens their pool of potential clubs internationally for the sale or loan of players outside of their first-team plans.

 

Gonzalez (pictured below), who used TransferRoom when he was Assistant Sporting Director at former club Deportivo Alaves, says: "We know the TransferRoom platform can open doors to foreign markets to make the Athletic Club brand known and to collaborate in the loan or sale of our players.

 

mikel gonzalez athletic club bilbao 2 edit

 

"Athletic Club's philosophy is limited to Basque players only, so we are not looking for solutions in that sense.

 

"But for us the solutions go in two ways: possible collaboration with international clubs for the transfer or sale of players; and collaborations with international clubs for knowledge of their philosophies, work methods and academy and training models."

 

Sharing philosophies and ways of working with Athletic Club will no doubt interest Vancouver Whitecaps, the Major League Soccer franchise that told told TransferRoom in 2021 of its long-term plans to field local players only, mirroring the Bilbao approach.

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