The rising star goalkeeper was expected to make a move to the Bernabeu, but appears to be staying put at San Mames for the foreseeable future.

By 90Min
January 22, 2018

Real Madrid have been dealt a significant blow in their pursuit of Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after the 23-year-old Spain international signed a new contract at San Mames.

Due to be out of contract in the summer, Kepa was widely expected to seal a €25m move to the Bernabeu this month to compete with existing number one Keylor Navas.

But Real seemingly dithered, leading to speculation over the weekend that the player had grown tired of waiting for the reigning European champions to make their move and would re-commit himself to his current club instead.

Kepa's new long-term Bilbao deal will run to the summer of 2025 and sees his previously modest €25m buyout clause now more than treble to €80m. It means Real can no longer count on snatching the Ondarroa-born stopper on the cheap.

Bilbao are notorious negotiators and usually refuse to accept anything less than full buyout clauses for their star players - as seen with Ander Herrera in the summer of 2014.

It remains to be seen where Real will turn for their goalkeeping needs now.

Long-term targets Thibaut Courtois and David de Gea are both discussing new contracts to extend their stays at Chelsea and Manchester United respectively. Real have also been linked with teenage AC Milan star Gianluigi Donnarumma in the past, but he too is tied to a long deal.

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