Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is reportedly close to joining the Bernabéu. Although Bono was the favorite to succeed Courtois, financial constraints and the Africa Cup of Nations stood in the way.
The appointment of Kepa as Real Madrid’s new goalkeeper is imminent. AS has corroborated reports from Sky Germany that the Chelsea goalkeeper has turned down a transfer to Bayern, which was likely until Real Madrid’s interest surfaced. The goalkeeper wants to join the capital club on loan to take Courtois’ place, who is injured. In principle, it would be a typical loan for a year without a buy option.
Even though Bono was the front-runner to replace Courtois, Real Madrid chose Kepa instead. The Moroccan goalkeeper’s signing circumstances, however, were not ideal. The expense came first; Sevilla sought a minimum of €20m. Another disadvantage is that Bono might be called up by Morocco for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, which would force him to miss up to 13 of Real Madrid’s scheduled games while on international duty.
On the other side, Kepa has a variety of benefits. It is significantly more economically feasible because it is merely a loan agreement. Madrid will now be in charge of covering his salary, and it may also have to pay Chelsea a fee, though those specifics are not yet clear. Madrid is familiar with Kepa and has been keeping an eye on him for a while. He even passed a medical in 2018, while he was still playing for Athletic, but Zidane ultimately decided against the move since he didn’t want to add any more goalkeepers. He preferred Keylor Navas over all others.
In response, Kepa extended his contract with the Bilbaos, and a few months later, he joined Chelsea for an estimated €80m. As a former member of Joaquin Caparrós’ teaching staff in Bilbao (2008–11), where Kepa was then still a promising youngster in Lezama, Luis Llopis, Madrid’s current goalkeeping coach, is well familiar with him. If a deal is made, Llopis would play a significant role in assisting the Basque goalkeeper in adjusting to his new surroundings.