Kepa Arrizabalaga admits his ties with Athletic Bilbao were too strong for him to sign for Real Madrid.
Kepa was heavily tipped to join Madrid in January, reports suggesting he even underwent a medical with Los Blancos, but the goalkeeper ultimately stuck with Athletic and extended his contract by seven years.
“In order to play at the World Cup, I know I have to do well with my club, Athletic,” the goalkeeper told Cadena SER.
“Rejecting Madrid? It’s true that during the process, I decided to stay on the fringes. It was a time when I needed to think things through.
“It was a life decision, deciding which path to take in my career. I needed time to get together with my family and closest friends.
“In the end, I wanted to be sure and weigh everything up. Once it became clear, I made the decision I made by signing a contract for several years.
“I’m very happy about the path I’ve taken. I’ve signed on for seven more years.”