Spanish winger Ibai Gomez has taken the surprising decision to leave high-flying La Liga side Alaves to return to struggling Athletic Bilbao.
The development means he has swapped a push for UEFA Champions League football for a relegation dog-fight.
The 29-year-old Ibai left Athletic for Alaves in 2016 when they were promoted to the Spanish top flight.
But in spite of helping the team climb above Real Madrid to fourth in the standings, he is heading back to his boyhood club after signing a three-and-a-half year deal.
Athletic are the only team apart from FC Barcelona and Real Madrid who have never been demoted from La Liga.
But that status has been seriously endangered by a poor campaign which has left them 17th in the standings, two points above the relegation zone.
“I know many people will not understand this decision and will not share my thinking,” Ibai said in a video released on social media.
The video appeared to be a nod to “The Decision”, the documentary Antoine Griezmann made last year to reveal he was snubbing FC Barcelona to stay at Atletico Madrid.
“I thank Alaves for everything, I will always have the club in my heart, but today it’s time to return home.”