Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga could join Real Madrid as soon as this January instead of waiting until next summer to sign for Los Blancos, according to a report from MARCA. Keylor Navas’ frequent injuries and Kepa’s own situation with Bilbao —which could eventually force him to miss the 2018 FIFA World Cup if he refuses to sign an extension— would speed things up and take the young goalkeeper to the Spanish capital.
Kepa has a €20 million release clause on his current deal with Athletic and Real Madrid could trigger that clause if the goalkeeper finally decides that it will be better for him to leave this January instead of waiting until the end of the season, per that same report. Either way, Kepa could sign any given deal in January 1st if he doesn’t reach an agreement with Athletic over a contract extension.
If Los Blancos think Kepa is their man, they could either pay the €20 million on his release clause this winter and enjoy his talents during the second half of the season or sign him as a free agent, even though that might not be what Kepa wants because Bilbao could decide to stop playing him, taking away his chances of being in the 2018 World Cup.