Real Madrid are reportedly leading the race to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga, the Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper wanted by Arsenal and Chelsea.

Real are said to be closing in on the signing of Bilbao shot-stopper, Arrizabalaga. The La Liga giants are reportedly willing to pay £18m for the 23-year-old in January as they hunt for a fresh pair of safe hands. However, if they wait until the end of the season, they can have him on a free as his contract expires.

Zinedine Zidane’s side are currently in fourth place in the La Liga table, which is a little lower than they tend to be. Therefore, it’s being speculated that current first choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas will be dropped in favour of Arrizabalaga.

Kepa Arrizabalaga 2
Spain’s goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga reacts during the UEFA U-21 European Championship Group B football match Spain v Macedonia in Gdynia, Poland on June 17, 2017. (MACIEJ GILLERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea and Arsenal are also linked but Real are allegedly in the driver’s seat.

Arrizabalaga has kept three clean sheets in 12 La Liga appearances this season and shipped 18 goals, which may not sound that promising. However, the Gunners’ need for a new goalkeeper is pretty evident.

Petr Cech is still a good goalkeeper but has a year-and-a-half left on his current deal in north London. He’s 35 and past his best. We need some fresh blood to come through and learn from him for the final year of his contract. Could Arrizabalaga be the right man? Who knows. But I do think we’re in the market for a shot-stopper. Or at least we should be.