Spanish and European champions Real Madrid are eyeing for a goalkeeper that can challenge Keylor Navas and be a long-term prospect for the club.
Although Los Blancos see Kiko Casilla as their current secondary choice, Zinedine Zidane’s side wants a keeper with a certain pedigree to help them in the coming years. And according to Spanish outlet Marca, the La Liga giants have set their eyes on Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Madrid-based outfit has monitored the player’s situation, having already begun talks with him last January, which have now gotten stalled. However, this doesn’t mean they won’t enter negotiations once again and try luring the player to the Bernabeu.
Kepa is currently Bilbao’s No. 1, and he impressed with Spain’s U21 team in the European championship. The youngster has a £9m release clause in his contract, which is set to expire in 2018.
Bilbao, who are desperate to hold on to their prized asset, are hoping to get the player to sign a new contract and increase the valuation to at least £57m. The 22-year-old has featured in three La Liga games for the club this season, and is gaining a lot of attention.
Real have been chasing David De Gea over the years, and it remains likely that they will return again for the Manchester United man next summer. But Spain’s No. 1 seems happy at Old Trafford under manager Jose Mourinho, and it will be very difficult for the Madrid outfit to lure him.
Navas has been excellent for Real over their last two seasons, and it is understood that president Florentino Perez wants an upgrade over the former. Besides De Gea, Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois is also on their radar, but the Kepa deal appears to be the ideal reality for Real as for now.
Written by Rajdeep Saha
Sports journalist with stints across print, digital and television. Contribution to each medium has been thrilling. Experienced in writing for this passionate game called football. Journalist by choice and passion.