Real Madrid are keen to strengthen their goalkeeping options in January by signing Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga, which could make for welcome news for Chelsea and Manchester United fans.
Los Blancos have faltered earlier on in the season, dropping several points at the Bernabeu to allow their bitter rivals Barcelona to surge ahead to an eight-point lead despite having lost superstar Neymar in the summer.
Real have recently come under fire for their lack of strength in depth from fans, the media, and even Cristiano Ronaldo. As reported by Marca, the club will attempt to counter the issue in January starting from the back – by bringing in 23-year-old Kepa, who has been touted as an eventual successor to Davide de Gea in goal for Spain.
The reportedly imminent €20m move could well mean that previous targets Thibaut Courtois and De Gea (from Chelsea and Man Utd respectively) are safe from pursuit.
Madrid have been linked with moves for the Premier League pair in recent years, and were infamously let down by an administrative error, as they tried to sign De Gea from United in 2015.
While current Real incumbent Keylor Navas has been in decent form despite the club’s struggles this season, Florentino Perez has never been truly convinced and is now keen to trigger Kepa’s €20m buy-out clause, with an agreement between the two clubs ‘imminent’.
The 23-year-old’s current deal runs till June 30, but Madrid are understood to pay the buy-out and get him in in January to eliminate the possibility of losing out.
Kepa has supposedly turned down multiple offers of a new deal from the club, as he seeks loftier ambitions.
The rising star is now a full Spanish international after earning his first cap against Costa Rica earlier this month, but is currently out of action with a sprained ankle and will miss the visit of his potential suitors at the weekend.