Bilbao stopper signs on

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Andoni Iraola has pledged his future to Athletic Bilbao after signing a four-year extension to his previous agreement.

The defender has now prolonged his deal until 2010 after fellow stopper Pablo Orbaiz also committed himself to the Basque outfit last week.

Iraola was due to be out of contract at the end of next season, and his decision to stay will be welcomed at Bilbao after he was linked with a move away from San Mames.

His new contract stipulates a release fee of some ‚é¼24 million, reflecting his worth to the squad after making 30 appearances in La Liga so far this season.

Bilbao will be boosted by Iraola's decision as star stopper Asier Del Horno is set to complete a move to Chelsea in the near future, whilst Santiago Ezquerro also has a deal in place with Barcelona.