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Bielsa denies reports of Bilbao rancour

By Football News



The pair have been strongly linked with moves away from San Mames in the close season, with Bielsa excluding them from his squad until they sort out their futures.

However, the Argentine tactician rejected talk of a rift and insisted he is not the reason why they want to leave the club.

"Athletic is going through a difficult time and it is not helped by malicious information," Bielsa told Marca.

"I asked Llorente and Martinez if I was the reason why they do not want to stay at the club, and they both said 'no'.

"Had they answered 'yes', then I would have acted accordingly."

Bielsa also rejected claims that defender Fernando Amorebieta is also out of the squad because of an ongoing contract dispute.

"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," he said.

"It is unfair what is being reported and I deny it. In addition, (Gaizka) Toquero and (Markel) Susaeta are in the same situation as Amorebieta, which rules out the scenario."