Premier League • England

Real Madrid ready to finalise Chelsea transfer in cash-plus-player swap

Chelsea and Real Madrid goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga

Real Madrid intend to sign a Chelsea record-breaker as part of a cash-plus-player swap that will leave the Blues massively out of pocket, per a report.

Chelsea set the new benchmark for goalkeeper transfers in 2018 when making Kepa Arrizabalaga the most expensive stopper of all time. Numbers two to ten on that list can be viewed here.

The Blues splashed out £71.6m to prise the Spaniard out of Athletic Bilbao. While Kepa did have his good moments in a Chelsea shirt – particularly last season – the move can hardly be classified as a success.

Edouard Mendy split time with Kepa during his brief stint at Stamford Bridge. Robert Sanchez arrived from Brighton in the off-season and when Real Madrid signed Kepa on a season-long loan, the door was wide open for Sanchez to take the starting role.

Kepa’s Real Madrid opportunity arose thanks to Thibaut Courtois suffering an ACL injury. Kepa, 29, has shone at the Bernabeu thus far, with Real losing just one of the 12 matches he’s started.

Kepa has made no secret of his desire to join Real outright when the loan concludes. According to a fresh update from the Sun, he may get that chance.

The Sun state that in lieu of Kepa’s fine form, Real are prepared to act early and spring Kepa’s permanent signing, presumably in January.

Lowly fee and back-up GK enough to convince Chelsea?

However, Carlo Ancelotti’s side are only willing to pay a transfer fee of just £17.5m. That is a far cry from the £71.6m paid to Athletic Club five-plus years ago.

Whether Chelsea would be willing to accept such a lowly fee remains to be seen. Nonetheless, Real reportedly intend to sweeten the deal by adding back-up goalkeeper, Andriy Lunin, into the deal.

The 24-year-old Ukrainian has served as Courtois’ back-up since arriving from Zorya Luhansk in 2018.

Demonstrating how much Kepa wants the move, it’s also claimed he’s willing to take a pay cut from his roughly £176,000-a-week salary to smoothen the process.

Chelsea may well be willing to sever ties with Kepa given 90min reported two high profile LaLiga stoppers have been scouted by the club.

What’s more, it’s understood Chelsea still retain faith in Robert Sanchez despite a few nervy moments of late.

But whether a £17.5m transfer fee plus Lunin would be to the club’s satisfaction is another matter entirely.

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