Chelsea star set to leave Stamford Bridge
La Liga giants Real Madrid are reportedly exploring the possibility of turning the loan move of Kepa Arrizabalaga into a permanent deal, a move that could spell significant financial loss for Chelsea.
Just three months into his loan spell, Kepa is impressing with the Spanish league leaders, and it appears Real Madrid are now eager to keep him on a more extended basis.
The 29-year-old goalkeeper’s journey back to Spain has been eventful. Initially brought in as season-long cover for the injured Thibaut Courtois, Kepa has managed to make a crucial impact in La Liga. Manager Carlo Ancelotti is impressed with his first-choice keeper, helping Real Madrid secure the top spot in the league and maintain a strong start in their Champions League campaign.
For Chelsea, this move might come as a surprise, as they had to swiftly secure a replacement when Kepa left for Santiago Bernabeu. They invested in Robert Sanchez from Brighton to fill the void left by the Spanish goalkeeper.
Los Blancos have reportedly set a ceiling of £17.5million on the transfer fee if Kepa’s move to Real Madrid becomes permanent. This would present a substantial loss for the London giants, considering they originally paid a world-record fee of £71.6million for Kepa just five years ago.
Kepa himself has made no secret of his desire to stay in the Spanish capital beyond the current season and is also prepared to take a cut on his £176,000-a-week salary to make it a reality.
In an effort to facilitate the permanent transfer, Real Madrid is considering including their backup keeper, Andriy Lunin, as part of the exchange. Such a move would help sweeten the deal and potentially reduce the financial burden on Chelsea regarding this move.
At present, Kepa’s future with Real Madrid seems promising. However, he would face tough competition for the starting position once Courtois returns from injury. The Belgian stopper has been a pivotal figure for the club over the years, and Kepa will need to prove himself consistently to challenge for the top spot.
Kepa still has 20 months left in his current contract at Stamford Bridge.
For Chelsea, the potential loss in this transfer would again bring their transfer strategy and player investments into the limelight. Building for the future, the Blues are also looking to add more firepower to the defense alongside Sanchez and are interested in Aaron Ramsdale. Offloading Kepa might just be the first move in the overhauling process.
In other news, Chelsea is monitoring an Arsenal star.