Real Madrid's defeat in El Clásico will have no impact on Los Merengues' plans for the January transfer window: Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga will be their only mid-season signing. Kepa has decided not to renew his Athletic contract, which now leaves the ball in Real's court, with the club set to step up their pursuit of the 23-year-old once the window opens on 1 January.
At that point, Kepa - whose Athletic deal expires in June - will be free to hold official talks with another club. His camp has already been made aware that Real's intention is to pay his 20m-euro release clause, but personal terms are still to be agreed. The Bernabéu outfit are expected to offer the Spain international a six-year contract with an annual salary of around three million euros net.
Real Madrid have no option but to trigger Kepa's release clause
Real Madrid know that there is no prospect of negotiating a transfer with Athletic; their only option is to unilaterally activate Kepa's buy-out clause.
Despite the doubts surrounding the attack and the 14-point gap between Real and LaLiga leaders Barcelona, Los Blancos are not considering any further January activity. The club remains confident in the squad planning carried out in the summer, with the recruitment of Kepa an opportunity to sign a long-term target that has been thrown up by the market due to his desire not to stay in Bilbao until the end of the season.