- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

BILBAO, Spain (AP) - Athletic Bilbao says versatile midfielder Mikel Rico has agreed to sign a new contract that will keep him at the Basque club until June 2018.

Bilbao says the new deal includes a buyout clause of 35 million euros ($42.7 million).

Now in his second season at Bilbao, Rico has become one of the team’s first-choice players by excelling both in attack and defense.

He previously played four seasons at fellow Spanish league side Granada.

Bilbao is 12th in the league entering the winter break. It has joined the Europa League’s round of 32 after failing to advance from its Champions League group.

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