Real Madrid are reportedly eyeing Athletic Bilbao keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after facing rejection in the pursuits of David De Gea and Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Spanish publication Don Balon are claiming that Real Madrid are ready to admit defeat in the pursuit of Manchester United superstar David De Gea and AC Milan sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma. And the report states that the club has decided to shift their attention to Athletic Bilbao keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Real Madrid have been perennially linked with David De Gea, Thibaut Courtois and Gianluigi Donnarumma. However, Donnarumma looked to be the closest to moving, with a contract standoff between the player and AC Milan. The teen sensation, though, is now set to pen a new deal with the Rossoneri, leaving Real dejected.
Meanwhile, David De Gea and Courtois both seemed to be loving their role and squad status at their respective clubs and are unlikely to push through a move anytime soon. The same has now forced Real to look elsewhere. And interestingly, the club seems to be following the same profile as they have in the recent times while recruiting.
Donnarumma brings with him the circus of Raiola. Kepa Arrizabalaga is in Spain NT system and seems like a very good option.
— tomcw 9248 (@tomcw9248) July 4, 2017
Kepa Arrizabalaga is a Spanish Under-21 international who has earned a call-up to the senior La Roja squad but is yet to make his debut. The player, though, is a key ingredient in the Bilbao setup, having emerged from their academy – another one of many Basque players to emerge from the setup.
Kepa managed to break through into the first-team last season and shined through and through. Despite being out with a torn abductor muscle for a good length of the season, the player managed 23 La Liga appearances, conceding 22 goals at an average of less than 1 goal a game with 8 clean sheets to show for his efforts.
The 22-year-old has a very high projected potential and while David De Gea is set to command the Spanish number one guard, Kepa is sure to be the understudy to the Manchester United superstar. Also, a move for Kepa could also see the player being phased into the starting role slowly, with Keylor Navas commanding the goal till then.
The player has just 1 year left on his current deal, which has a €30 million release clause – an amount that may rise to €50 million with talks of a new deal to extend his contract to 2020 underway. Real Madrid, though, would be more than happy to shell out €30 million to bring the player over to Santiago Bernabeu.
— La Liga Transfers (@TraspasosLaLiga) July 3, 2017
The release clause is considerably lesser than they would have to pay for any of the three targets and Kepa might just grow to be a phenomenal goalkeeper. Real though, are unlikely to get the asking price lower as Athletic are not known to negotiate below the release clause for their Basque players.
It would be interesting to see if Real Madrid do go for Kepa instead of these high-profile targets, something which would see a huge shift of trend in arrivals, especially with the club now eyeing profiles like Dani Ceballos, Theo Hernandez and others instead of the big-name superstars.