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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Back to Bilbao for del Horno in loan deal

MADRID, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Spain left back Asier del Horno has returned to his former club Athletic Bilbao on loan from Valencia, the Basque side said on Thursday.

Athletic said they had an option to buy the 26-year-old for 3 million euros ($4.10 million), plus an additional 2 million euros depending on the number of games he played.

Del Horno joined Valencia from Chelsea for around 7.5 million euros in July 2006 but missed most of the season because of an Achilles' tendon problem, making just six league appearances.

Valencia coach Quique Sanchez Flores made it clear in the close season that the Spanish international did not feature in his plans for the current campaign.

Del Horno came up through the youth ranks at Athletic and played for the first team for five seasons before moving to Chelsea in 2005 for 12 million euros.

Athletic said they would be paying 60 percent of his salary, which is reported to be 1.8 million euros, and that the loan deal included a clause whereby the defender could not play against Valencia next season.