Trusted journalist Fabrizio Romano has confirmed Real Madrid are interested in a surprise move for Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, and the exact nature of their contact for him has been revealed.
Carlo Ancelotti is in need of a new keeper following a severe injury to current number one Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian could be out for at least seven months after rupturing his ACL recently. Madrid have confirmed Courtois will soon undergo surgery on the issue.
Ancelotti does also have Ukrainian keeper Andriy Lunin in his squad. Although, Lunin does not have the experience needed to help Madrid triumph in major competitions such as La Liga and the Champions League this season.
As such, Romano has previously stated that Madrid will definitely look to make a keeper signing to replace Courtois before the transfer window slams shut.
On Thursday, two of their primary options for the position emerged. The Evening Standard revealed how Los Blancos had set their sights on Arrizabalaga in a potential loan-to-buy deal.
They are also known to hold an interest in David de Gea, who is a free agent following the expiry of his Manchester United contract earlier this summer.
Writing on Twitter, Romano has provided the latest on the situation. He explains how Madrid have got their move for Arrizabalaga underway by initiating ‘contact’ with the 28-year-old and his entourage.
The La Liga giants know Arrizabalaga is ‘keen’ on the transfer. He is open to joining Madrid even if it is only on loan to start with.
Chelsea player ‘keen’ to make Real Madrid switch
Madrid are also poised to begin talks with Chelsea as they aim to discover what kind of bid will be needed to take the shot-stopper to Spain.
The most likely solution will be for Madrid to sign Arrizabalaga on loan for the current season, with the deal including the option for them to sign him permanently in summer 2024.
There are a few reasons why Arrizabalaga would like to make this transfer a reality. First of all, he has become slightly disillusioned with Chelsea after they brought in Robert Sanchez from Brighton to compete with him.
Secondly, signing for Madrid would give Arrizabalaga a brilliant chance to win more major silverware including the Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey. Plus, there would be an obvious attraction for Arrizabalaga to go back to his home country of Spain and be closer to his family.
Madrid landing the Blues man would leave De Gea frustrated. On Thursday, it was claimed Madrid were prioritising a swoop for De Gea, but Ancelotti appears to have had a change of heart.
It is unclear where De Gea will end up if Madrid go through with their prospective move for Arrizabalaga. The 32-year-old, who was signed for Man Utd by Sir Alex Ferguson, has previously been offered the chance to head to Saudi Arabia on a lucrative contract. But it is understood that he would rather stay in Europe and play at the highest level possible.
De Gea’s camp are not the only party who will be disappointed if Arrizabalaga swaps Chelsea for Madrid. Bayern had been in advanced talks to make Arrizabalaga their new keeper, though they now look set to miss out on his signature.