Zinedine Zidane ‘knows nothing’ of Real Madrid pursuit of Kepa Arrizabalaga

Athletic Bilbao, Clubs, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Real Madrid, Spanish Primera División, Story, Transfers


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Real Madrid remain tight-lipped over ongoing reports linking Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga with a move to the Bernabeu during the January transfer window.

Marca claims that the 20-year-old underwent tests at Sanitas La Moraleja hospital in Madrid on Thursday with a view to completing his transfer to Madrid.

Kepa has been heavily linked with a move to Los Blancos for months and the Spain international is yet to sign a contract extension with Athletic, with his current deal ending in June 2018.

“I cannot confirm this [Kepa passing a medical with Real], I know nothing about it,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said following his team’s 3-0 victory at Numancia in the Copa del Rey round-of-16 first leg on Thursday.

Real Madrid director of institutional relations, Emilio Butragueno added: “We don’t speak about players who are not ours.”

Kepa Arrizabalaga has been heavily linked with a move from Athletic Bilbao to Real Madrid.
Kepa Arrizabalaga is strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid from Athletic Bilbao.

Kepa missed Athletic’s last two games of 2017 with a minor right foot injury but was present at the club’s training ground in Lezama on Thursday morning.

“Kepa is injured and did not train with the team but continued his recovery process in Lezama on Thursday,” an Ahtletic Bilbao source told ESPN FC. “He wasn’t there for the whole day and we don’t know what he did in his spare time.”

Athletic are unwilling to sell the player and according to Marca, Real will have to pay Kepa’s €20 million release clause to acquire his services.

Athletic left-back Enric Saborit says constant reports linking Kepa with a move away from Bilbao are not affecting the team.

“In the changing room there is no issue regarding Kepa, but rather regarding the team,” Saborit told a news conference. “We are not being affected whatsoever by this. Everything is good.”

Athletic are 12th in La Liga and host Alaves on Sunday.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.



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