Keeper reveals reasons for turning down Real Madrid move

Ian Watson

Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has opened up over his decision to reject Real Madrid and sign a new contract with his boyhood club.

Arrizabalaga was heavily linked in January with a switch to the Bernabeu as his contract in Bilbao ticked down towards it’s expiry this summer.

But the 23-year-old opted instead to recommit to the Basque club, signing a seven-year contract.

Upon joining up with the Spain squad for their friendlies against Germany and Argentina, Arrizabalaga gave an insight into his thinking.

“Rejecting Madrid? It’s true that during the process, I decided to stay on the fringes. It was a time when I needed to think things through,” he told Cadena SER.

“It was a life decision, deciding which path to take in my career. I needed time to get together with my family and closest friends.

“In the end, I wanted to be sure and weigh everything up. Once it became clear, I made the decision I made by signing a contract for several years.

“I’m very happy about the path I’ve taken. I’ve signed on for seven more years.

“In order to play at the World Cup, I know I have to do well with my club, Athletic.


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