Javi Martinez wanted to leave Athletic Bilbao before Euro 2012, admits Urrutia

The Athletic supremo reveals the midfielder was keen to depart San Mames for some time, as he remains calm over the futures of other star players, including Fernando Llorente
Athletic Bilbao president Josu Urrutia has conceded that he was left with no choice but to sell Javi Martinez to Bayern Munich.

The midfielder finally secured a transfer to the Bundesliga giants at the end of August, ending a summer's worth of speculation, with the Liga side initially reluctant to sanction the Spain international's exit.

However, Bayern agreed to trigger Martinez's release clause of €40 million in order to get their man, and the patron revealed he knew of the versatile performer's wishes to leave before the start of Euro 2012.

"Javi Martinez's representative informed us of his intention to leave before the Euros," he stated at a press conference on Monday.

"Any supporter and partner of the club sees us as the best in the world. The players are a symbol of our passion.

"I understand the feeling of disappointment among our fans, but what hurts me is that Javi did not tell me he wanted to stay on."

The sale of Martinez has generated significant funds for Athletic, but Urrutia explained that while some of the income will be spent on improving the squad, there are also plans to invest in the side's youth academy.

"We have a month to strengthen the squad [in January]. Our objective is to be a top side but we will not go crazy.

"Some of the money will be spent on improving our grassroots structures. We have a foundation that we are happy with, and we are excited about the year ahead."

Urrutia then reflected on the contract situation of Spain striker Fernando Llorente, who revealed that he had no internation of signing a new contract at the club, as well as Markel Susaeta and Fernando Amorebieta.

"Llorente is an Athletic player and an important asset for this club, but he must also give maximum effort and generate the right ambiance to do so," he remarked.

"Negotiations with Susaeta and Amorebieta are ready. That means they want to pursue their careers with us."