Kepa Arrizzabalaga will sign a new contract with Athletic Club after seeing negotiations with Real Madrid come to a standstill
Real Madrid’s uneventful January transfer window is set to continue as they are expected to miss out on Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizzabalaga according to Marca. The move has been in the pipeline for long but no significant breakthrough had been made after Kepa suffered a foot injury. Zinedine Zidane has also insisted time and again that he doesn’t want any new faces. Coupled that with the untimely injury, the move has become more and more complicated.
Kepa will not join @realmadriden.
The goalkeeper has grown fed up of the club's indecision and is now set to sign a new deal at @Athletic_en.
— MARCA in English (@MARCAinENGLISH) January 21, 2018
Kepa is expected to accept the latest deal offered by the Athletic Club. The new contract will see him earning on par with club’s highest earners such as Inaki Williams. The club has been trying for the past 16 months to get the young shot-stopper to sign a new deal with his current contract expiring in the summer. However, Kepa kept on delaying, hoping the Madrid move to materialise in time.
The contract extension is expected to keep him at the club until either 2023 or 2024 and it is will affect the entire goalkeeping roster of the club. The current third choice, Alex Remiro was expected to be recalled from Huesca is now set to continue with his loan deal. The fourth choice, Unai Simon is now set to continue his stint with the youth team. The duo’s contract is expiring in 2019 and a renewal is not on Athletic’s radar now. However, Iago Herrerin will continue to be a valuable squad player.
Earlier, Zidane insisted that neither does he expect nor does he want new signings in this window. Speaking at a press conference, he said, “We aren’t going to sign in the winter.”
Real Madrid definitely needs reinforcements in the goalkeeping department. Both Keylor Navas and his understudy, Kiko Casilla have under-performed and made several mistakes throughout the course of the season. However, Kepa was always expected to be a signing for the future and not a stop-gap option. Anyhow, Zidane must start looking for new goalkeepers in the market. Madrid would do well to acquire any of their top targets in the goalkeeping department with the names of Thibaut Courtois and David De Gea being linked consistently.