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Real Madrid Sign Kepa Arrizabalaga

Real Madrid will complete their €20million move for Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga as soon as the transfer window reopens, according to reports in Spain.

Kepa’s contract runs out at the end of the season, but after Real’s embarrassing 3-0 pre-Christmas defeat by arch rivals Barcelona, Florentino Pérez knows that he needs a new signing to change the story in Madrid that their season is all but over.

The only surprise is that possible the only signing in January will be a goalkeeper and one not named de Gea or Courtois.

Real Madrid have been linked with with Kepa, de Gea and Courtois for months now. De Gea and Courtois have both been looked at by Madrid but both would cost a lot more than the €20m outlay for Kepa.

Courtois has 18 months left on his Chelsea contract and has never made a secret of his desire to return to the Spanish capital, where he enjoyed a loan spell at Atletico Madrid.

De Gea’s contract runs out in 2019 and has twice been on the verge of replacing Keylor Navas at the Bernabeu only for Zinedine Zidane to end up sticking with the Costa Rican international both times.

Real Madrid are not spending €20m on a goalkeeper who they could have got for free in sex months to have him sit on the bench, He will be expected to replace Navas and assume the No 1 shirt when the season resumes in January.

The only long-term question is whether Kepa is going to inherit the No 1 short for good, or whether he is simply a stop gap until Courtois arrives in the summer?