Athletic Bilbao extend Mikel Rico's contract to 2018

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

Athletic say the new deal includes a buyout clause of 35 million euros.

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

He previously played four seasons at Granada.

Athletic Bilbao are 12th in the league entering the winter break. They have joined the Europa League's round of 32 after failing to advance from its Champions League group.