Arsenal have been dealt a blow with goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga potentially joining Real Madrid in the January transfer window, according to reports in Spain.
Arrizabalaga is out of contract in the summer and is reportedly a target for Arsenal and Juventus. However, according to Marca, Real Madrid are set to complete a deal for the 23-year-old in the January transfer window, reports IBTimes.
The Spaniard is in line for six-year deal worth £2.21m-per-year. The Champions League holders will offer £22m for him, which is nearly £5m more than his current release clause, as a show of good faith and to maintain a good relationship with Athletic Bilbao.
Real have employed a similar strategy the past, paying more for signings such as Theo Hernandez and Dani Ceballos than their respective release clauses at Atletico Madrid and Real Betis required.
Zinedine Zidane’s men have been the frontrunners for Arrizabalaga since the start of the season. Arsenal were said to see him as the ideal long-term replacement for Petr Cech, and were hoping to sign him for free when his contract expired at the end of the campaign.
Madrid, though, have been intent on signing as much young Spanish talent as possible. Arrizabalga represented Spain in the u21 European Championships last summer, and was part of the side that were defeated by Germany in the final.