Tiko signs Athletic extension
By Nic Evans
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The problems that Bilbao are having with budgetary constraints and finding an acceptable way forward has seen German coach Juup Heynckes and president Javier Uria trade verbal attacks over the past week but now this seems to have been smoothed over.
Tiko has been in stunning form for Bilbao, although the club itself appears to have lost its way in the run in to the end of the season. A midfielder who specialises at set pieces, his form has been good enough to see Spanish coach Jose Antonio Camacho call him into the squad and he could yet make the World Cup finals.
Bilbao announced in a press conference that Tiko had agreed to put pen-to-paper on the deal that will tie him to the club until June 30, 2006 and his clause of recession had been increased to é¼48 million (£29.37 million).
It has taken several months for both parties to agree terms, but after a meeting between sports director Andoni Zubizarreta and Tiko's agent Jesus Medina on Thursday, it would appear some progress was made.
The news dashes the hopes of the likes of Barcelona who had been casting envious eyes over Tiko, highlighted by the failure of their own midfield this season.