Kepa Arrizabalaga has joined Real Madrid on loan from Chelsea for the 2023-24 season.
Thibaut Courtois’ ACL injury, which is anticipated to keep him out for the rest of the season, left the Spanish giants in need of goalkeeping reinforcements.
Los Blancos have confirmed the signing of Kepa, who was deemed surplus to requirements by new Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino after the acquisition of Robert Sanchez earlier this summer.
The Spanish custodian will now spend the current season with Real Madrid before returning to Stamford Bridge next summer, as there is no option or obligation to buy in the deal.
Real Madrid will officially unveil Kepa on Tuesday afternoon, and he might make his debut against Almeria on Saturday.
Los Blancos began their new season with a 2-0 win over Kepa’s previous club Athletic Bilbao at the weekend, with rookie Jude Bellingham scoring alongside Rodrygo.
However, they were dealt another major blow when Eder Militao tore his ACL just days after Courtois suffered the same devastating injury.
Thus, the former La Liga champions might now look for a defender as well until the summer window ends.
Kepa, the most expensive custodian in history, returns to La Liga for the first time since the 2017-18 season, when he made 30 appearances for Athletic.
The 28-year-old made 163 appearances for Chelsea over four seasons, recovering his spot in the first squad from Edouard Mendy last season after making only 11 Premier League appearances in 2020-21 and 2021-22 combined.
Mendy has also left Chelsea this summer, while Gabriel Slonina has gone on loan, leaving Sanchez as the Premier League club’s indisputable number one custodian.
The Blues are in search of Kepa’s replacement while the Whites are in search of a new defender, as we await the closer of this transfer window.
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