Going into the summer Athletic Club’s most important order of business was to retain and secure their own players. Of all the talent that needs to be protected, there is no one more vital than Kepa Arrizabalaga whose current contract will expire next June. Last season the keeper overtook Gorka Iraizoz to become the unrivaled starter and the Lions want to keep him at the San Mames for years to come. That being said, Kepa’s extension is just around the corner.
A few weeks ago it was reported that Kepa had verbally agreed to a contract extension but wasn’t able to put pen to paper due to the fact that he was serving on international duty with Spain’s U21 team. The Lezama product was eventually asked about the rumors and confirmed that he would sign his new deal once he returned home for the summer. After Spain was beaten by Germany in the U21 championship, Kepa arrived back in Bilbao on Saturday morning and has already begun his summer vacation.
Sources close to the situation claim that Kepa is expected to sign his contract renewal in the coming days. Athletic officially begins preseason training on Monday 3 July, but will be flying to Switzerland on 10 July for an eight-day stay that will also include three friendly matches. If all goes according to plan, Kepa will ink his new deal before the team leaves for their Festival of the Alps. Kepa and Inaki Williams will not join their teammates until after they return from Switzerland on 18 July so there is an off chance that the renewal will wait until then.
The details of Kepa’s new deal have been public knowledge for a few weeks now. The 22-year-old will extend his contract through 2021 and will also see his release clause rise from €30 million to somewhere in the €50 million range. The keeper has been very open with the public and Athletic, saying that he wants to stay at the club for many more years. Once he signs his new contract, Kepa Arrizabalaga will become one of the highest paid players at Athletic Club.