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Real Madrid set for Kepa blow as keeper nears new Athletic contract

4:29 PM GMT+4 21/01/2018
Kepa Arrizabalaga Athletic Club
The 23-year-old goalkeeper had been linked with a €20 million move to the capital but is now set to stay put

Kepa Arrizabalaga is set to hand Athletic Bilbao a boon and dish out another blow to Real Madrid during a difficult period for the Primera Division champions.

The goalkeeper had been expected to move to Santiago Bernabeu but is now very close to signing a fresh deal with his existing club. Indeed, Goal understands an announcement could be made in the coming days confirming the 23-year-old’s stay.

Kepa’s deal is up in June, but Madrid had been linked with an immediate move for the goalkeeper as they fear that he could go elsewhere . A €20 million transfer fee – the valuation of his termination clause – had been mooted.

However, sources have told Goal that Athletic are “on the right track” to completing the deal, even if they were previously pessimistic over getting it over the line.

“There’s a lot been said but he’s still with us,” Inaki Williams, who recently signed a new deal , indicated. “He is focused on recovering as soon as possible and we see that he’s very calm.

“From time to time, we can hesitate when there are rumours in the press, but everything has been kept between friends.

“Everyone wants him to stay – it would be good news for us. The truth is that we want to have the best players on our side.”

Fellow goalkeeper Iago Herrerin also commented on the situation after the weekend’s 2-2 draw with Getafe.

“It’s a tiring subject, but that’s normal,” he said. “We know the whole truth about it all.”