According to reports in Spain’s most read newspaper, Marca, Liverpool have approached Fernando Amorebieta’s representatives to express “a serious interest” in signing the Athletic Bilbao centre back.
The Venezuelan international is currently under contract with the Basque club until June 2013, so they will now have to decide whether to renew his contract this summer or risk him leaving for free in a year’s time.
Sources close to the 27-year-old are suggesting that his preference would be to remain at Bilbao, but only if the club can offer him an extension on his contract with a considerably better pay package, which could prove difficult with his club teammate, the recently-crowned European champion Fernando Llorente, also insisting on a significant pay rise.
The biggest obstacle for Liverpool may prove to be the €35million (£27.4M) buy-out clause in Amorebieta’s contract, but Athletic Bilbao have not issued a flat-out refusal to negotiate that clause, which they did almost immediately after being informed of the interest in Javi Martinez from Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
Speculation in the Spanish press suggests that the Athletic Bilbao president, Jose Urrutia, may be willing to accept an offer around £10million for Amorebieta.