The Previous Claims-
Reports have claimed that Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal are currently looking to strengthen their goalkeeping options with a young keeper named Kepa Arrizabalaga who currently plays for Athletic Bilbao. European champions Real Madrid are also reportedly preparing to make a bid for the 23-year-old after Costa Rican Keylor Navas has been rather unimpressive this season for the Los Blancos.
It seems as if Arsene Wenger is ready to address his defensive problems after sparking interest in Kepa, who has been catching the eye of many top European suitors including local London rivals Chelsea and La Liga giants Real Madrid.
One major issue of concern is the ageing veteran shot-stopper Petr Cech who is now 35 years old. And despite him still able to produce top draw saves on several occasions, Wenger knows he needs to look into the transfer market to find a suitable replacement for the Czech shot-stopper. The name that has been mentioned a lot by the top clubs across Europe is Kepa. The young keeper is best known for winning the U-19 European Championship back in 2012 while playing for his national side Spain.
Kepa who was born in Spain has spent and moved around the country playing for many different clubs. He started his senior career with Basconia after being picked up by Athletic Bilbao’s B team. He was then sent out on loan to Ponferradina and then returned to Athletic Bilbao but was again loaned out for a season to Valladolid in the second division where the club finished 16th. On his return to Bilbao last term, he impressed heavily and played a major part in helping the club to a strong 7th place finish.
However, Kepa’s contract with Bilbao expires next summer and it doesn’t look like he will be willing to pen down a new deal with better clubs on the lookout for him. The Athletic Bilbao board will also look to raise funds by selling Kepa in the winter transfer window rather than let him leave as a free transfer by the summer window.
Kepa is currently valued at £18m and Arsene Wenger was highly interested in bringing him to the Emirates in North London. They will face stiff competition from Spanish champions Real Madrid as their manager Zinedine Zidane has faced with a lot of criticism and pressure as his side is situated fourth on the table.
Although it may not be good news for Arsenal but it could be delightful news for their League rivals Chelsea and Manchester United as they would be able to keep their first choice keepers away from the hands of the European Champions. Meanwhile, Real Madrid are also looking at United’s David De Gea and Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois as possible replacements for Keylor Navas.
The Latest Update-
The recent reports are claiming that Kepa Arrizabalaga have passed the medical for Real Madrid and will be announced as a Madrid player within few days. This will surely be a disappointment for Arsene Wenger and Co to not secure a move for the young Goalkeeper though they were ahead of Real Madrid at some point of time to sign the player.