MX23RW : Friday, July 20 16:51:11

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
CBarcelona38289199297093
2Atletico MadridAtletico382310558223679
3Real Madrid382210694445076
4Valencia38227965382773
5Villarreal38187135750761
6Real Betis38186146061-160
7Sevilla38177144958-958
8Getafe381510134233955
9EibarEibar38149154450-651
10GironaGirona38149155059-951
11Espanyol381213133642-649
12Real Sociedad38147176659749
13Celta Vigo381310155960-149
14AlavesAlaves38152214050-1047
15Levante381113144458-1446
16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
17Leganes38127193451-1743
RDeportivo La CorunaDeportivo38611213876-3829
RLas PalmasLas Palmas3857262474-5022
RMalaga3855282461-3720

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