MX23RW : Wednesday, November 21 00:26:25

Kepa Arrizabalaga explains Real Madrid snub

Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga says that he turned down the chance to join Real Madrid during the January transfer window.

Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has revealed that he turned down the chance to join Real Madrid during the January transfer window.

The Spaniard was strongly linked with a move to the Bernabeu in the early stages of 2018, and it had been claimed that the stopper underwent a medical with Los Blancos during the winter window.

Kepa ultimately signed a new seven-year contract at San Mames, however, and the 23-year-old has said that ambitions of making the Spain squad for the 2018 World Cup played a key role in his decision.

"In order to play at the World Cup, I know I have to do well with my club, Athletic," Kepa told Cadena SER. "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.

"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."

Kepa has kept six clean sheets in 21 La Liga appearances for Bilbao this season.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1273234181624
2Sevilla1272324141023
3Atletico MadridAtletico12651168823
4AlavesAlaves127231712523
5Espanyol126331610621
6Real Madrid126242016420
7Real Valladolid1245399017
8Levante125251819-117
9GironaGirona124531314-117
10Real Sociedad124441514116
11Getafe124441110116
12Real Betis124441215-316
13EibarEibar124351218-615
14Celta Vigo123542220214
15Valencia1228289-114
16Villarreal122551113-211
17Athletic Bilbao121741319-610
18Leganes12246916-710
19Rayo Vallecano121471425-117
20Huesca121381025-156

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