Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has confirmed that Kepa Arrizabalaga turned down other clubs to seal his loan move from Chelsea.
Kepa, 28, has joined Madrid on a season-long loan but was also linked with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. Sky Sports Germany’s Folarin Plettenberg claims that the Bavarians were informed by the Spaniard that he preferred a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Perez has now confirmed that there were other clubs in the race to sign Kepa but he chose Real Madrid. He said in the Spanish goalkeeper’s unveiling (via transfer expert Fabrizio Romano):
“Kepa had big offers on the table but he decided to join us — he only wanted Real Madrid.”
There is no buy option included in the loan deal that has taken Kepa to Carlo Ancelotti’s side. He was in topsy-turvy form last season, keeping 12 clean sheets in 39 games across competitions.
However, a large part of that was down to Chelsea‘s poor season as a collective. The Blues finished 12th in the league and the world’s most expensive shot-stopper needed a fresh start. He has made it clear that he wants to stay at the Bernabeu beyond the loan deal:
“I hope that with my performances Real Madrid will decide to keep me after the loan. This club is legendary.”
Kepa becomes Madrid’s fifth summer signing following the acquisitions of Jude Bellingham, Arda Guler, Fran Garcia, and Joselu. He arrives as the immediate replacement of Thibaut Courtois who will miss the majority of the season through an ACL injury.
Kepa reveals Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas is an idol
The new Madrid goalkeeper will be following in the footsteps of Iker Casillas by becoming Los Blancos’ No.1. He has revealed that the iconic former Los Merengues shot-stopper is one of his idols (via MadridXtra):
“This is a proud moment for me. This club is legendary. I have grown up watching Iker Casillas. He’s one of my idols.”
Casillas was a legend at the Bernabeu, making 725 appearances for the La Liga giants. He kept 264 clean sheets, winning three UEFA Champions Leagues, five La Liga titles, and two Copa del Rey trophies.
The Spaniard was long-regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers in world football. He also shined on the international stage, winning the FIFA World Cup in 2010.
If Kepa comes anywhere close to achieving Casillas’ accomplishments at the Bernabeu he will have been a success. Of course, that’s depending on whether he does remain with Real Madrid beyond his loan spell.