Marcelo Bielsa denies rift with Fernando Llorente, Javi Martinez

Marcelo Bielsa
© PA Photos
Marcelo Bielsa insists that he is not the reason why Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez want to leave Athletic Bilbao.

Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa has insisted that he is not the reason why star duo Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez want to leave the club this summer.

Striker Llorente and midfielder Martinez are both expected to depart San Mames, with the former linked with Juventus and the latter poised to join Bayern Munich.

"Athletic are going through a difficult time and it is not helped by malicious information," Bielsa is quoted as saying by Marca.

"I asked Llorente and Martinez if I was the reason why they do not not want to stay at the club, and both said 'no'.

"Had they answered 'yes', then I would have acted accordingly."

Both Llorente and Martinez have been left out of Bilbao's squad to face HJK Helsinki in the first leg of their Europa League playoff tie on Thursday.

Related Video
Major League Soccer
1am
Columbus Crew
vs
Chicago Fire
3.30am
LA Galaxy
vs
Houston
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBayern Munich33244578186076
2Wolfsburg33208570363468
3Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach33199552232966
4Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen331710661352661
5Schalke 04Schalke33139114238448
6Augsburg33144154042-246
7Borussia DortmundDortmund33127144440443
8Werder Bremen331110124862-1443
9Hoffenheim33118144754-741
10Mainz 0533913114545040
11Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt331010135461-740
12FC Koln33912123238-639
13Hertha Berlin3398163550-1535
14Freiburg33713133545-1034
15Hannover33810153855-1734
16Stuttgart3389164059-1933
17Hamburger SV3388172350-2732
18SC PaderbornSC Paderborn33710163063-3331