Carry on Karpin

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Real Sociedad midfielder Valery Karpin has announced he will play on for a further season.

The 36-year-old Russian international had been tipped to hang up his boots this summer, but has revealed the pleas of his Real team-mates served to make him change his mind.

"There is no big surprise and I will continue for another year at Real (Sociedad)," stated Karpin.

"The principal motive is that my team-mates asked me after the game (against Real Madrid) at the Bernabeu, and told me that they needed me.

"I am happy. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, my head was nearly bursting and I feel a lot calmer having taken the decision."

Meanwhile, Sociedad president Jose Luis Astiazaran has stated it is '98 percent' certain that midfielder Xabi Alonso will still be at the club next season.

The Spanish international midfielder has been linked with a summer move to Real Madrid, but it now seems that he will be staying at the Anoeta.

"There is a 98 percent chance that Xabi Alonso will continue at Real next season," declared the Sociedad chief.

"It would have to take an exceptional offer for him to leave the club and for us to agree to sell him."