Zinedine Zidane blocked move for Chelsea star at Real Madrid: Reports

Kepa Arrizabalaga was close to moving to Real Madrid before his Chelsea move.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was close to moving to Real Madrid before his Chelsea move.
Rishabh Bhatnagar

According to, Zinedine Zidane blocked a Real Madrid move for Kepa Arrizabalaga a few months before Chelsea signed him.

Chelsea ended up making Kepa the most expensive goalkeeper at the time by paying off his €80 million release clause. However, the season before, in 2017, Real Madrid were reportedly close to signing the player. Kepa impressed during his two loan spells and was the starting goalkeeper at Athletic Bilbao from 2016-18.

Until the 2018 winter market, Kepa had a €20 million release clause that Los Blancos were close to paying. However, then-manager Zidane ended up stopping the move as he did not want disharmony between the goalkeepers in his squad. Madrid already had Keylor Navas, who had won back-to-back Champions League titles with the team and had the support of the senior players.

Kepa, who was on the verge of joining Real Madrid for €20million six months ago, is now off to Chelsea for €80m while Courtois, who is actually worth that, is now going to Madrid for half the price. A cockup of the highest order from Chelsea.

Kepa ended up with a foot injury that eventually brought an end to the potential move. He left for Chelsea just a few months later, with the Blues having paid a world-record fee for the goalkeeper at the time.

Chelsea look to register comeback against Real Madrid

Needless to say, Kepa Arrizabalaga’s career has hit a few snags in recent campaigns. The signing of Edouard Mendy has reduced his gametime to a great extent and he is again expected to be on the bench in the second leg. Real Madrid will look at the situation and think that they got away with a potential mistake and have in Courtois a goalkeeper that is well-trusted.

The Blues find themselves in the difficult position of coming back from a 3-1 deficit. Karim Benzema scored his second straight hat-trick in the Champions League knockout. Havertz pulled one back to keep their hopes alive.

Thomas Tuchel has a plethora of issues to solve and the form of Romelu Lukaku appears to be the biggest.

The Belgian striker has looked a shadow of his former self and missed two big chances in the first leg. Los Blancos will be an even bigger force to reckon with at the Bernabeu. The Blues need a huge effort from their stars if they are to stay alive in the Champions League.

Where does Mane rank in Paul Merson's 5 greatest Liverpool signings of the Klopp era? Click here

Edited by Puranjay Dixit


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