Madrid, May 7: Athletic Club Bilbao have confirmed that attacking midfielder Markel Susaeta will leave the club at the end of the current season after failing to reach agreement over a new contract.
The 31-year-old will leave the club after spending 22 years with Athletic, joining as an boy and progressing through the ranks.
His 506 first team appearances make him the fifth most capped player in the club's history and he holds the club record for appearances in European competitions (75 games). He also made 41 appearances for the Athletic-B team before his first team debut, which was in the Camp Nou Stadium against FC Barcelona in September 2007.
Athletic confirmed the news of Susaeta's departure with a communique late on Monday night. "Markel Susaeta has decided to end his time at Athletic Club as a player and will not renew the contract that expires on the 30th of June," reads the communique adding that he had "told Athletic last week that he would not study the proposal that the entity offered him to continue next season."
"Athletic Club would like to thank him for his professionality and commitment during two decades." A measure of Susaeta's importance to the club is that he played regularly under every coach he has worked with during the last 12 seasons, although his appearances had been limited since Gaizka Garitano replaced Eduardo Berizzo last December.