ZURUTUZA LEAVES BILBAO
Athletic Bilbao midfielder David Zurutuza has joined Saint Etienne just a season after having signed from rivals Real Sociedad.
Zurutuza follows Andoni Iraola to France after signing for former French powerhouse Saint Etienne for a fee of £7 million.
The Frenchman failed to secure a spot in Athletic Bilbao’s first team and Bilbao manager Oceano Cruz felt it was necessary to shift Zurutuza in order to free up funds.
Zurutuza admitted ex-teammate Stephane Ruffier was the catalyst to his move as he recommended ‘Les Verts’.
“I spoke a lot recently to Ruffier who used to play for Saint Etienne. He had nothing but good memories to share and assured me it was a great club.
“Ruffier spoke very highly of his old team and it was enough to convince to make the switch. I’m very excited to be here at Saint Etienne and hope I can succeed.”
The former Real Sociedad player appeared a total of 35 times for Athletic Bilbao last season, of which 12 were as a substitute.