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Chelsea’s €18 million-rated star was close to joining Real Madrid in 2018 – report



Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images for Premier League

Finding a starting goalkeeper so deep into the transfer window is far from simple. Thankfully for Real Madrid, they happen to have a solid number of options they can consider.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is one of the players linked with a move to the club as a temporary replacement for Thibaut Courtois. Interestingly, this is not the first time Los Blancos have been linked with the Chelsea star’s signing.

According to reports from The Athletic, Kepa was close to joining Real Madrid in the winter of 2018. However, Zinedine Zidane stopped the move from going through.

Eventually, Thibaut Courtois signed for Real Madrid from Chelsea in the 2018 transfer window. Kepa, ironically, signed for the London-based side as the Belgian’s replacement.

Over the past five years, Courtois has gone on to be a bonafide legend for Real Madrid between the sticks.

However, fate was not as kind for Kepa, as the Spaniard came under heavy scrutiny and eventually collapsed under pressure.

Kepa could have joined Real Madrid in 2018. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

The Spaniard was eventually replaced by Edouard Mendy at the club, but he fought back valiantly and had reclaimed his place in goal last season.

With Mendy leaving for Al-Ahli, Kepa, whose market value stands at €18 million, would have had a shot at cementing his place as the starter at Stamford Bridge this season.

Still a target for Europe’s elite

However, despite having an assured starting spot at Chelsea this season, the 28-year-old could be on the move as he is still a target for some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

As iterated earlier, Real Madrid are remotely considering the Spanish star’s name as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois.

Moreover, Bayern Munich are also closely monitoring Kepa’s situation as they look for a replacement for Manuel Neuer and reports suggest that a move to the Allianz Arena could be close.

As such, Los Blancos have very little hope of signing Kepa and are focusing on other targets such as Yassine Bounou of Sevilla.

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Real Madrid News

Bellingham on his special assist in Girona 0-3 Real Madrid: “Been watching Luka every day”



Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid usurped the top spot in the La Liga standings from arch-rivals FC Barcelona as they defeated Girona 3-0 away at Estadi Montilivi.

It was a fine performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s men against Michel’s side, with the returning Jude Bellingham leading the way for his team.

After being benched against Las Palmas in midweek, the England international returned to the starting XI today and turned in yet another Man of the Match display for Real Madrid.

It all started with Joselu opening the scoring just 15 minutes into the game, with Bellingham assisting the goal with a special, outside-of-the-boot pass from the left side, bringing back memories of Luka Modric doing something similar a few years ago.

Talking about that special pass, Bellingham said: “I’ve been watching Luka every day for months. I just want to be creative. It took the pressure off us at the start.”

On the match and the result, the 20-year-old stated that it was a good day across the board for Real Madrid, as he said: “It was an important win. They were doing very well. We made a statement of intent to La Liga. Three goals, a clean sheet….”

It has been a truly remarkable start to life at Real Madrid for Bellingham and expressing how he feels to play for the Merengues, he exclaimed:

“I feel very good. I have freedom of movement and I’m enjoying football. Whenever I put on this shirt I always try to do my best.”

Apart from assisting Joselu’s opener, Bellingham also got his name on the scoresheet in the second period. Talking about his goal, the wonderkid said:

“It wasn’t a very good finish. I could have scored some more, but the important thing is the victory.”

The strike meant that Bellingham now has seven goals and two assists across all competitions for Real Madrid. Reflecting on his brilliant start, he said:

“It’s a good start, not bad. I would like to continue on this path and I won’t always score or assist, but I will always give my best.”

Bellingham’s celebration has been a huge hit, with kids in school, players from other clubs, and many others mimicking it. When asked how his special celebration originated, he replied:

“I don’t know where I first celebrated. I think it was with Birmingham. It’s an inspiration to see kids doing it in schools. It’s a wonderful thing.”

Source: AS

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