On December 24th, AS explained West Ham United have informed Athletic Club Bilbao they are willing to pay Unai Núñez’s €30m release clause to sign him in January.

It was also reported Bayern Munich have identified the centre-back as a target to replace Javi Martínez.

Four days later, the Hammers’ interest in the centre-back was pushed again by the same newspaper, but Bilbao president Aitor Elizegi stressed his side are “not interested” in sanctioning the 22-year-old’s transfer.

Friday’s edition of AS claims the defender’s future is still in the air and the Basque club face a ‘threat’ from David Moyes’ side and the Bundesliga winners for Núñez.

His contract with the La Liga club runs down in 2023 and Bilbao are planning to offer Núñez a new deal so that his buyout clause can be raised. Athletic manager Gaizka Garitano remians hopeful the player continues with the club. 

“I talked to him, I usually talk a lot and [spoke to him] recently too. He knows that we want him to renew and stay here. It is in his hands. hopefully he stays. We would not like to lose him,” Garitano was quoted as saying by AS.

“[Núñez is a] player of present and future for the club and it is in his hand to stay. Hopefully the circumstances will arise so that he stays.”

On Wednesday there was a scoffing column in Spain suggesting claims of interest from Bayern and other huge clubs are fabricated, so perhaps West Ham are being used too as the player looks for a bumper renewal.