Kepa Arrizabalaga is on loan at Real Madrid until 2024 but reports suggest he won’t return to Chelsea. The 29-year-old was replaced by Robert Sanchez over the summer but has enjoyed a new lease of life in Spain.
Kepa has featured in 13 of Real’s 18 games this season and admitted a desire to stay permanently in August. Juan C. Navarro of Fichajes says Real want to keep the Spanish international beyond 2024, so a transfer should follow.
Kepa struggled for consistency at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea paid £71.6m for Kepa but could sell him for €25m (£21.6m) as they want him off the wage bill. The 29-year-old made 163 appearances for the Blues between 2018 and 2023 but was dropped after two seasons.
Kepa was inconsistent between the sticks at Chelsea and lost his place to Edouard Mendy in 2020/21. He returned to the fray last season when Mendy got injured, but Chelsea had no plans to keep him.
Real loaned in Kepa for the injured Thibaut Courtois and have been impressed with his performances. Chelsea are sticking with Robert Sanchez after his £25m move from Brighton & Hove Albion, so Kepa has no place.
A move suits all parties
Chelsea are set to take a big hit on Kepa when he’s permanently sold, but they’ll save millions on wages. The Spaniard earns £150k-per-week/£7.8m-a-year at Stamford Bridge and has 18 months remaining on his contract. Chelsea could generate nearly £30m through his sale, so Sanchez’s transfer will be covered.
Kepa is playing regularly for a giant European club that want him permanently, so everyone wins if a deal happens. The 29-year-old has his form back after struggling in England, and Real have solved their injury problem. Chelsea have Marcus Bettinelli, Djordje Petrovic and Lucas Bergström, so they’re not short of cover in Kepa’s absence.