Watford & Crystal Palace Among Premier League Sides Interested in €20m-Rated Athletic Club Defender

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Watford and Crystal Palace are reportedly set to compete for the permanent signature of Athletic defender Unai Núñez.

The 21-year-old was promoted from Bilbao’s youth ranks to the senior team in July 2017 after registering 33 appearances for Bilbao Athletic (the B team). He made 36 appearances overall in his debut season for the first team, which saw him feature in La Liga, where he scored his first senior goal for the club in March. 

He also played three times in the UEFA Europa League, as Los Rojiblancos reached the Round of 16 and were eliminated by eventual runners-up Marseille.

However, this campaign the Spaniard has been restricted to just 794 minutes in all competitions, including seven starts in the league.

The defender has his eyes set on representing his country in the upcoming UEFA European Under-21 Championships, but out of fears he may miss the tournament as a result of a lack of game-time, he wants to leave the club – with a trio of top-tier English sides alerted.

According to ASWatfordCrystal Palace and Cardiff are keen on luring the talented youngster to the Premier League.

The Hornets and Eagles are believed to be preparing a loan offer until the end of the season with an option to buy, although they could reportedly sign the defender outright for €20m this month. Meanwhile, the Welsh outfit are only interested in landing Núñez on a temporary-basis.

The Spaniard signed a contract extension in October 2017 which is set to expire in June 2023, but the deal includes a release-clause of €30m.

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