Kepa Arrizabalaga is already a legend in the making at Athletic Club. Last year he beat out Gorka Iraizoz to become the starting keeper and the team never looked back. As time passed he found himself becoming one of the best in all of La Liga and even received a call up to the Spain National Team. The 22-year-old is just as much the present as he is the future and it is imperative that Athletic extend his contract, which expires at the end of this season.
While away on international duty this summer Kepa admitted that he wants to stay with Athletic and that he was close to signing a renewal with the club. He went as far to say that his extension would be finalized when he returned from the summer break, but the weeks have passed and there has been no word on what is going on. If he does not renew by January he will be free to negotiate with other clubs, so the Basque giants must work quickly to tie down their star and keep him at the San Mames.
According to a new report from Javier Ortiz De Lazcano of El Correo, representatives from both sides expect the extension to happen. He says that the two sides met this week and have scheduled to meet again soon to continue working out the specifics of the contract. The good news is that the keeper has reportedly told Athletic that he wants to stay in Bilbao and that he has had no contact with any other clubs regarding a transfer.
So just what has held up the extension to this point? According to El Correo, Kepa has yet to agree to the wages that he has been offered. Athletic wants to place a massive release clause on the keeper, somewhere in the €50 million range, and he wants his wages to reflect that number. In short, Kepa wants to be one of the highest paid players at Athletic and the club has yet to offer him that type of money. Both sides have agreed to the length of the contract, which will last until 2022, but now they must come to an agreement on wages. January is not far away, but another meeting will take place soon and fans will be hoping for some good news out of Ibaigane. The process has gone much slower than expected, but sources believe that an agreement will be reached.