Bielsa denies rift with Amorebieta

The Argentine trainer has quashed talk of any disputes with his players, and says there is a healthy atmosphere in the side's dressing room
Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa insists his relationship with Fernando Amorebieta is perfectly healthy, amidst rumours of a bust-up between the pair.

Amorebieta was dropped in favour of teenager Aymeric Laporte following several high-profile mistakes, but Bielsa has assured the Venezuela international he still features in his first-team plans.

"I merely discussed the aspects about the game with him, nothing more," said Bielsa at the pre-match press conference before the game against Real Betis on Sunday.

"There is no heirarchy or absolute entitlements within my team. [Mikel] San Jose, Laporte, Amorebieta and [Jon] Aurtenetxe feature in the line-up based on decisions taken on a day-by-day basis.

"Issues arriving from matches are analysed between the coaching staff and the players. My discussions with Amorebieta are no different from the ones I have with others."

The Europa League-winning coach's relationship with Fernando Llorente has also come under the spotlight this season, after the striker's refusal to extend his contract at San Mames.