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Ander Iturraspe: "We don't get the feeling that Kepa's going to leave us any time soon"

The midfielder is ready to return for the Basque derby while Beñat and Yeray remain doubtful. He also spoke about Kepa Arrizabalaga being linked to Real Madrid.


Apart from long-term casualty Iker Muniain, Athletic Club boss José Ángel Ziganda will have a full squad to select his side for Saturday's Basque derby when Real Sociedad pay their annual visit to Bilbao. In the meantime, Yeray Álvarez and Beñat must wait to get the all-clear from medical staff. The team returned to the training ground this morning for a session which Mikel Rico and Mikel Balenziaga were unable to complete but neither player is reported to be suffering an injury. Ziganda tried out the XI he is expected to field against La Real this weekend: Arrizabalaga; Lekue, Núñez, Laporte, Balenziaga; Iturraspe, Rico,  Raúl García, Susaeta, De Marcos and Aduriz.

Athletic are over Cup shock, says Iturraspe

Iturraspe, who appears to be over the muscular injury he picked up early in the recent meeting with Real Madrid, spoke about the mood within the camp, Kepa Arrizabalaga's contract winding down amid interest from Real Madrid and his own return to first team duties. "I'm fine, I've been training without any pains and I'm ready to play", he said. "The situation was a bit difficult after going out to Formentera in the Cup but since then we've shown we have the mentality to bounce back. The players have responded and that's something money cannot buy. It's the path we need to stay on".

Kepa is a model professional

As for Kepa Arrizabalaga's situation, Iturraspe added: "We don't get the feeling that these are Kepa's last weeks with us. Whether he should be first choice or not is a matter for the coach but he's playing all of our league games; a more professional footballer you will not findand he's also a great person. His contract is coming up for revision - and other players' are up too so we'll see what happens with the players who are in that situation".


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