Kepa Arrizabalaga arrived at Athletic’s Lezama training ground on Friday and remained inside the complex as his teammates took to the pitches as he continues his recovery from a fractured metatarsal.
Meanwhile, Athletic coach José Angel Ziganda was forced to field questions during a press conference regarding reports that his first-choice keeper had been in Madrid a day earlier to undergo a medical prior to a move to Real Madrid.
“I have no idea if he did a medical, I don’t know what to tell you,” Ziganda said. “Kepa was at Lezama yesterday following his recovery programme along with [defender Mikel] Balenziaga. He didn’t go to San Mamés. I don’t have any knowledge of a medical, no idea.”
However, the Athletic coach did make it clear that if the keeper had been to Madrid, it was without the club’s blessing: “Of course he didn't [have permission].”
Ziganda: "When Kepa has something to say, he'll say it"
Ziganda also reported that Kepa had suffered a setback in his recovery after trying to force the issue and that he was “in considerable discomfort” after pushing to be able to train, meaning he will probably not join up with the squad as hoped next week.
Asked if there was any atmosphere surrounding Kepa around Lezama given the constant rumours of an imminent departure, Ziganda played a straight bat: “He looks fine to me, he’s the same as he always is, conversations are as normal and nothing has changed. The team is focused on Alavés. All the distractions from outside don’t help but in my case it’s easy to ignore because these are external matters and the sooner they stop the better. When he has something to say, he’ll say it.”