Zinedine Zidane has rejected claims he won a transfer battle with Florentino Perez over the signing of Kepa from Athletic Club.
It came as a surprise to many when Kepa decided to put pen to paper on a new deal with his current club, rather than make a move to Madrid.
An agreement for a six year deal was in place, Real Madrid had informed Athletic of their intention to pay a 20 million euro release clause and the shotstopper had even passed a medical in the Spanish capital, but turned his back on a move at the last moment.
MARCA believe that it had a lot to do with the current injury which is keeping him on the sidelines. A problem with his right foot is forcing him out of action and Real Madrid are believed to have demanded that the youngster undergo an operation immediately if he moved to the Bernabeu.
The 21-year-old was reluctant to accept such a move given that there are just months until the 2018 World Cup and he knows his place in the Spain squad could be at risk.
Furthermore, Zidane was reluctant to go all out to convince the player to join but he has rubbished reports that he won a transfer battle with Perez.
“In the summer any player can join Real Madrid, should the club and the Coach wish for it to happen,” Zidane told reporters on Tuesday.
“However the idea from both me and the club was not to change a lot in this month, so it’s annoying to hear reports of a falling out.
“One of my jobs is to protect the squad and the players who are available to me, but I have no further comments on Kepa or anyone else.”
The Frenchman had previously agreed for the signing of the club’s top January target on the condition that he would arrive in the summer and replace Kiko Casilla, but was not overly happy about him joining mid-season.
His public statements, repeatedly issuing his support of the current squad and insisting that there would be no January signings, did little to persuade the player.
Now, it looks as though Real Madrid could return for Manchester United’s David de Gea in the summer in a move which would cost them 85-100 million euros, with Kepa having been put off moving to Madrid at any point in the near future.