Kepa signs new Athletic Bilbao contract to bring end to Real Madrid interest
Real Madrid target Kepa Arrizabalaga has signed a new Athletic Bilbao contract that runs until June 2025 and has an €80 million release clause, the club have announced.
Kepa, 23, whose previous contract had been due to end in the summer, has been strongly linked with Madrid in recent months.
But the Spain international has chosen to stay, and an Athletic statement said: “Athletic Club and Kepa Arrizabalaga have signed a contract extension so that the player remains at the club until June 30, 2025.
“His release clause will be €80m.”
— Athletic Club (@AthleticClub) January 22, 2018
Athletic were unwilling to sell Kepa and had been hopeful that he would sign a new deal.
Bilbao newspaper El Correo reported that Kepa had grown tired of waiting for Real to make a move and decided to accept Athletic’s new deal.
Onda Cero radio recently said his possible transfer had been put on hold after a medical earlier this month revealed a foot problem.
Marca said that meant Real would only consider signing him in the summer and hence avoid paying a €20m release clause.
Kepa, 23, has been sidelined with metatarsalgia in his right foot since Dec. 16.
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.