As the new season of La Liga kicks off, Real Madrid appear to be on the verge of signing Kepa Arrizabalaga on a loan deal from Chelsea.
The Spaniard is set to join the club as a temporary replacement for Thibaut Courtois, who is likely ruled out for the season due to an ACL injury.
However, before signing Kepa, Real Madrid were considering a move for Sevilla shot-stopper Bono.
Carlo Ancelotti preferred Bono
Regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in La Liga, Bono was an attractive option for Real Madrid shortly after Courtois’ injury was revealed.
According to Rodrigo Faez, Bono was the preferred option for coach Carlo Ancelotti. The goalkeeper was even keen on moving to the Santiago Bernabeu, in a bid to start a new challenge elsewhere.
However, it appears Real Madrid pulled the plug on the pursuit of the 32-year-old Moroccan international as they were not in a position to match Sevilla’s economic demands.
Bono’s contract at Sanchez Pizjuan does not expire until 2025 and the goalkeeper has a €50 million release clause embedded in his contract.
Naturally, Sevilla were holding out for a lucrative fee for the goalkeeper, which did not suffice for Los Blancos.
Real Madrid wanted a loan deal
Having roped in talents such as Jude Bellingham and Arda Guler, Real Madrid were unsurprisingly preferring a loan deal in their bid to sign a new goalkeeper.
The club were not too keen on splurging on a temporary solution in the goalkeeping position, meaning Bono was never an option.
On top of that, the goalkeeper would be away for close to a month in early 2024 due to the Africa Cup of Nations, where he would be representing the Moroccan national team.
As a result, the Spanish giants ended up pursuing a loan deal for Kepa. The former Athletic Club starlet will join the club for a year, playing as the first-choice goalkeeper for Los Blancos.
Injured Real Madrid defender will undergo scans tomorrow – report
Real Madrid have started the 2023/24 campaign on a strong note, winning six in six across all competitions.
What makes the streak even more impressive is that they have had to do so without a number of key players present.
Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Arda Guler and Vinicius Jr are still out on the sidelines while Dani Ceballos and Ferland Mendy have only recently returned from injury.
But, earlier this week, Dani Carvajal became the latest victim of the injury course as he sustained a muscle issue that ruled him out of the match against Union Berlin last night.
Carvajal will undergo MRI tomorrow
Carvajal had been in fine form prior to his injury earlier this week and his absence is certainly a blow.
With a game against Atletico Madrid coming up later this weekend, Mario Cortegana of The Athletic is reporting that the 31-year-old will undergo his MRI scans tomorrow morning.
It should present a clearer picture of the extent of the veteran right-back’s injury following which a potential date for his return could be determined.
Prior to the Union Berlin match, manager Carlo Ancelotti sounded optimistic about Carvajal’s condition, as he said:
“Carvajal has an overload, we prefer not to take any risks. It’s nothing serious, he’ll undergo tests tomorrow and we hope he recovers soon. Carvajal can make it to the derby. The feelings are good.”
But tomorrow’s scans should provide a better picture of how his condition is and when he can make a comeback.
Lucas Vazquez: an able deputy
With Dani Carvajal unavailable, Carlo Ancelotti turned to Lucas Vazquez for the right-back position and the veteran Spaniard did not disappoint last night.
Indeed, the 32-year-old was a regular outlet going forward down the right flank and made six key passes against Union Berlin.
And Ancelotti will count on him again in the derby versus Atleti if Carvajal’s recovery will take longer.