Kepa's Athletic successor Remiro frozen out of team amid contract stand-off

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Athletic Club
Coach Eduardo Berizzo confirmed that the goalkeeper's exclusion owes to delays in signing a new deal, a decision that did not go down well with Remiro

Alex Remiro was shocked to see his name removed from Athletic's teamsheet for the start of the Liga season amid a dispute over his new contract.

Kepa Arrizabalaga's exit to Chelsea at the end of the Premier League transfer window left a big gap for Eduardo Berizzo's side, as the goalkeeper moved in a £72 million (€80m/$92m) deal

The 23-year-old Remiro is seen as a natural replacement, particularly after Kepa's former understudy Iago Herrerin has been ruled out through injury, having performed heroically on loan at Huesca last season in a campaign that saw the team promoted to the Spanish top flight. 

In Athletic's Liga opener against Leganes, however, his name was conspicuous by its absence in the Basques' line-up, as youngster Unai Simon was handed his club debut in a 2-1 victory. 

Goal understands that Remiro will continue to be frozen out of the first team until he puts pen to paper on a new contract. 

The goalkeeper's current deal expires in June 2019 and the club have made it clear he will not receive another call-up while the stand-off continues, a plan confirmed by Berizzo in a recent press conference. 

"As long as this is not resolved with peace and harmony we have decided not to call up [Remiro]. The club have learned from the past and do not want to see history repeated," the Argentine told reporters. 

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Remiro, meanwhile, has taken the news with shock and distress, having been caught off-guard by Athletic's draconian measures. 

The goalkeeper has already begun to study the offer extended by the club, with his agents currently in Bilbao to negotiate terms. 

Remiro is still keen to sign a new deal and prove himself a worthy succesor to Kepa in the San Mames net, despite this current bad blood. Sources close to the keeper explain that he does not want to leave, with a swift resolution to contract talks expected. 

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