Benat: My dream is to play for Athletic Bilbao

The Betis midfielder has been heavily linked with the likes of Manchester City and Bayern Munich this season, but wants to represent the Basques
Real Betis midfielder Benat has revealed it would be a "dream" to rejoin Athletic Bilbao in future, but has stressed he could opt to extend his stay with his current employers this summer.

The 26-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City earlier on in the season, while reports in March suggested that Pep Guardiola is keen on bringing the playmaker to Bayern Munich after the end of the season.

However, Benat, who came through the youth system at Athletic, has made it clear where his ideal future destination would be but denied he has reached an agreement with any other club.

“There has been interest, beyond any concrete offer," he told AS when asked if there had been any bids for his services.

"I cannot deny that since childhood my dream has been to play for Athletic, which is my home and where I grew up. But I do not know when or if ever that will be. Right now I have not been approached.

"Of course, the door is not closed on a new contract [with Betis]. In contrast, it is open. Certainly I would like to play in Europe with Betis. But it is not true that I have accepted offers to play elsewhere yet. I’m very happy at Betis, I love the city, the weather, the people.

"Like everyone else, I am looking to my future. And if my future has to be away from Betis, people should understand that. We all want to progress, to move forward in our work.

“Betis fans have so far respected me. When I take my girlfriend to the movies, they talk to me about the renewal and stuff, but that’s normal.

“Betis fans appreciate me and I hope that that continues.”

Benat has reportedly been priced at €12 million should any potential suitors consider a move this summer, and the Spain international admits he is flattered to be considered worthy of such six-figure sums.

“I do not think of my value - €12m, €15m or [the buyout clause of] €20m. It is something for which I'm flattered, but it’s hard to believe, especially because I have been through a lot in a short time, less than three years."