Kepa Arrizabalaga is one of the most promising young keepers in Europe and has already become a star at the San Mames. The 22-year-old won the starting job from Gorka Iraizoz this season, becoming both the present and the future at the position. He has been touted for this very role for many years now and fans are excited to see what the future holds for the Lezama legend. However, the first thing Athletic must do is sign him to a contract extension in order to protect their prized asset.
Kepa’s contract is set to expire in June of 2018, meaning he only has one season left on his current deal. Furthermore, his release clause is set at €30 million which could make him an option for the European elite who may have an eye on him. In January the two sides opened up negotiations over a new deal and a recent report from Javier Ortiz De Lazcano of El Correo says that the negotiations have now reached an advanced stage and that an agreement is right around the corner.
According to the report, Kepa has already made it clear that he wants to stay at Athletic and commit his future to his boyhood club. Right now there are only two specifics left to iron out in the new deal: Kepa’s wages and the release clause. Athletic certainly want to increase the 22-year-old’s release clause to somewhere in the €50 million range, but the keeper will want to be compensated to justify such a large clause. Whatever deal is struck, it looks almost certain that his new deal will last until 2022.
Athletic Club has a bright future full of young stars and so far they have done a great job at shielding those players. Aymeric Laporte, Yeray, and Inaki Williams all have long term contracts with high release clauses. Kepa Arrizabalaga is the next youngster that needs to be protected and it seems like it is only a matter of time before the keeper signs his new deal.