With Thibaut Courtois rupturing his ACL just before the start of the 2023/24 season, Real Madrid were forced to enter the market for a new goalkeeper.
While they eventually ended up signing Kepa Arrizabalaga on a season-long loan deal, Los Blancos looked at several options in the market before the move.
Indeed, Manchester United legend David de Gea was also an option that was considered, given that he is a free agent currently.
And reports had suggested that talks were held with the 32-year-old Spaniard over a move.
But, now, The Athletic is claiming that Real Madrid never made an approach for De Gea and never called him about a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
De Gea was never a serious target
The report goes on to claim that Los Blancos never had any talks with the former Manchester United No. 1 as they were aware that there would be problems in meeting his salary and contract length demands.
De Gea had a big contract at Manchester United before he left and he is understood to have received a lucrative proposal from a Saudi Arabian club this summer as well.
As such, Real Madrid believed that a move would not be financially feasible for them and moved towards Kepa.
Another Premier League great, Hugo Lloris of Tottenham, was considered as an option, but did not convince the hierarchy.
As such, the Spanish capital giants went strongly after Kepa and were able to convince him to join, with the 28-year-old snubbing Bayern Munich to move to Madrid.
Speaking at his unveiling earlier today, Kepa even admitted that he wishes Real Madrid sign him permanently, saying: “I hope so. Today is the first day of my loan. We have time, we will see. Hopefully, with my performance, I can make that happen.”
Bellingham on his special assist in Girona 0-3 Real Madrid: “Been watching Luka every day”
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.”