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Athletic Bilbao extends contract of young goalkeeper Kepa

January 22, 2018

FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 file photo, Athletic Bilbao's goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, top, pushes the ball beside Real Madrid's Daniel Carvajal during their Spanish La Liga soccer match at San Mames stadium, in Bilbao, northern Spain. Athletic Bilbao has said on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 it has extended the contract of young goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga until June 2025, ending speculation about his move to Real Madrid. The 23-year-old Kepa admitted he had offers to leave Athletic, but decided to stay at the club he considers his “home.” (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos, file)

MADRID (AP) — Athletic Bilbao says it has extended the contract of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga until June 2025, ending speculation about his move to Real Madrid.

The 23-year-old Kepa admitted he had offers to leave Athletic, but decided to stay at the club he considers his “home.”

Madrid reportedly wanted to sign Kepa but negotiations did not advance in recent weeks.

Kepa thanked Athletic for “respecting me for taking my time” during long negotiations for the new deal.

Athletic said Monday that Kepa’s contract has a buyout clause of 80 million euros ($97.8 million).

Kepa played through Athletic’s youth system and was with Spain’s youth squads. His first stint with Spain’s senior team came last year.

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