Liverpool’s first bit of confirmed transfer business this summer could end up being a departure, with academy winger Elijah Gift—who turns 17 next month—set to join Athletic Bilbao in a £1M deal to be made official at the end of the season.
The youngster was born in Corella, Spain, about half way between Zaragoza and Bilbao in the north of the country, and has Basque roots that mean he meets Bilbao’s unwritten eligibility rules and can play for the independently-minded club.
For more than a century, Bilbao has only signed players with connections to the region—and while they haven’t had the modern success of clubs like Madrid, Barcelona, or even Atletico Madrid, they’ve never been relegated from La Liga.
Gift’s Liverpool departure was first claimed by TheSecretScout but has since been confirmed by club-connected journalists with The Athletic, Liverpool Echo, and other sources, suggesting this deal is legitimately all but officially done.
In addition to having roots that allow him to play for the Basque club, Gift has both Spanish and Cuban citizenship and joined Huddersfield’s academy when he was 11 before making the switch to Liverpool last summer when he turned 16.