‘I wish he was born or formed here, but he does not meet those two criteria’: Athletic Bilbao chief RULES OUT signing Gonzalo Higuain in summer after claims he qualified to play for club through great-grandfather
Athletic Club Bilbao sporting director Rafael Alkorta has ruled out signing Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain.
The Basque club were linked with a move for the 32-year-old when his contract expires in the summer.
Spanish outlet Marca claimed Higuain may qualify to play for Bilbao as he is the great-grandson of a Basque who emigrated to Argentina.
Athletic Bilbao have ruled out making a summer move for Juventus striker Gonazlo Higuain
But Alkorta told Onda Cero: ‘I wish he was born or formed here, but he does not meet those two criteria,’
‘A grandparent does not qualify you right now. I don’t know if it will one day, but now it does not.’
The current rules on playing staff dictate that only players born in the region or who learned their football skills at a Basque club can represent them.
The Argentine is no longer the leading light at Juventus and his contract expires in the summer
Higuain is well known for playing for the Argentina national side, though has dual Argentine and French nationality because he was born in Brest where his father, Jorge, who made a career in San Lorenzo, Boca and River, featured in European football playing at Stade Brestois.
The 32-year-old has also been linked with potential moves to Major League Soccer, along with a lucrative switch to the Chinese Super League.