Athletic Bilbao forward Joseba Etxeberria has turned down the chance of joining Everton.

Reports in Spain claim the 29-year-old was the subject of a £5.55m bid from the Premiership club.

“It’s true that both Athletic and I know something about this – but it’s also true I told the club president I am very happy at Bilbao,” he said.

“As a professional, I’m honoured that a club like Everton have considered me as a reinforcement.”

Etxeberria has been at Athletic Bilbao since he was 17. He recently signed a new deal 18 months ago to keep him at the club until 2007.

“Athletic is my home and I am delighted and very proud to play here,” he added on his official website.

“All I am thinking about is the vital game against Valladolid on Tuesday.

“My desire is to continue to play with Athletic for many years and if I can retire wearing the red and white colours it will be even better.”