MX23RW : Sunday, September 23 18:33:57

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
1Real Madrid5410123913
2Barcelona44001431112
3AlavesAlaves531185310
4Celta Vigo522110828
5Atletico MadridAtletico52215418
6Sevilla521210647
7Espanyol52125417
8Real Sociedad52127707
9Getafe52124407
10EibarEibar521256-17
11GironaGirona421156-17
12Athletic Bilbao31205415
13Villarreal512223-15
14Real Betis412113-25
15Valencia504135-24
16Levante5113811-34
17Huesca5113613-74
18Real Valladolid503235-23
19Rayo Vallecano4103310-73
20Leganes5014410-61

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