Klopp’s No.10 options narrow as target signs up with no release clause

Date published: Wednesday 21st November 2018 12:09 - Matthew Briggs

Reported Liverpool target Iker Muniain has signed a new five-year contract extension at Athletic Bilbao.

The 25-year-old attacking midfielder was out of contract in Bilbao at the end of the season, but the LaLiga club have announced a new contract for the No.10 who has played all his career at San Mames.

It leaves Jurgen Klopp’s options somewhat narrowed as the German still hunts for a replacement for Philippe Coutinho.

The Reds sold the Brazil playmaker for £142m last January, but according to reports, Klopp is still very much in the market to replace Coutinho at Anfield.

According to Radio Marca last month, Liverpool and Napoli were both trying to sign Muniain.

The report claimed Klopp and Liverpool would try and bring him in January, or even trying to persuade him to sign a pre-contract agreement ahead of a summer 2019 switch.

Those suggestions have now been extinguished with the Basque-native, who has 357 first-team appearances and 51 goals to date for Atheltic Club, now committing himself until 2024.

The club have also confirmed that Muniain’s new deal does not contain a release clause.

Klopp’s other No. 10 option is understood to be Kerem Demirbay, who has a £28million exit clause in his Hoffenheim deal.

Turkish-Football and the Daily Star have recently claimed Klopp is keen on the player, who was quoted by Sky Germany saying he was relaxed about Klopp scouting him during their 3-3 Champions League draw at home to Lyon: “Of course I noticed that [Liverpool scouts were there]. I can handle it.”

 

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