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Who is Kepa Arrizabalaga? The goalkeeper Real Madrid now want instead of David De Gea

La Liga champions are targeting Athletic Bilbao's highly-rated young keeper as they pull away from making £60million move for Man United star

Good news, Man United fans, Real Madrid are very close to giving up hope of ever signing David De Gea.

The La Liga giants are ready to admit defeat when it comes to Spain’s No1 by making a move for Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to Marca.

So what do we know about him?

Real Madrid have decided to target Athletic Bilbao's Kepa Arricabalaga

AFP - Getty
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Real Madrid’s new target

Atheltic Bilbao’s 23-year-old keeper has emerged as one of the most sought-after young players in Europe.

Standing just over 6ft 2in tall, Arrizabalaga is blessed with composure and maturity beyond his years.

Decision-making and agility are two of his great strengths and some show-stopping saves have risen his profile significantly in the last year.

He is seen as someone who will challenge De Gea for his place in the Spanish national team in the near future, having played 22 time for the Under-21s.

Arrizabalaga has emerged as one of the best young goalkeeping talents in Europe

Getty Images - Getty
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Access denied

Arrizabalaga is now in the final year of his current deal with Athletic Bilbao having been with the club since he was ten-years-old.

As it stands he is unlikely to extend his stay with a new deal.

From the beginning of January the keeper will be free to agree a pre-contract with another club, and Real have already started to make their interest known.

The reports claim they have made signing him one of their top priorities, in the knowledge that they will be able to get him for a reduced fee next summer.

Because he is under 24, Arrizabalaga cannot move on a free transfer so a compensation package would have to be agreed.

But there are suggestions that fee could be just £17.65million – a bargain for a player of his potential in the current market.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is out of contract at Athletic Bilbao at the end of the season

EPA
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The ball is a new contract with Athletic Bilbao…

Arsenal have previously scouted the promising keeper but are unlikely to best Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane if it came to a war over wages.

Reports suggest that Arrizabalaga may be thrust straight into Madrid’s first team over Keylor Navas.

If all goes well he could be No1 at the Bernabeu for over a decade — but that is probably getting slightly ahead of ourselves.


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