Spaniard spurns Everton
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Athletic Bilbao forward Joseba Etxeberria has revealed that he has turned down Everton's interest to remain with his Spanish club.
Reports in Spain had suggested David Moyes had launched a £5.5 million bid for the Spain international, but he wants to remain in his homeland.
The 29-year-old says that he and his club were aware of Everton's interest, but he had no desire to move to Merseyside.
"It is true that both Athletic and I know something about this, but it is also true that I told the club president (Fernando Lamikiz) that I am very happy at Bilbao," Etxeberria said on his own personal website.
"Athletic is my home and I am delighted and very proud to play here. All I am thinking about is the vital game against Valladolid on Tuesday.
"It's true that my club and I knew something regarding the news that emerged today (Monday) of the interest of Everton to acquire me."
Etxeberria has been with the Basque club since the age of 17, and has a contract with the club until the summer of 2007.
"As a professional, I am honoured that a club like Everton, that are currently in fourth position in the Premier League, has considered me as a reinforcement. It means that the work that I am doing is being noticed.
"This is my home and I am proud to play here. My desire is to continue to play with Athletic for many years and if I can retire wearing the red and white colours it will be even better."
Moyes is looking to add to his squad in the remainder of the transfer window, as they hope to hang on to fourth place in The Premiership and secure UEFA Champions League football for next season.
Etxeberria is just the sort of experienced international Moyes was looking for but the Spaniard, who has amassed over 50 caps for his country, has decided to stay put.