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‘About to take a plane to Manchester’ – Explanation of how close Man United transfer was

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Kepa Arrizabalaga is the new flavour of the month in Real Madrid’s goalkeeper chase. He’s Spanish, has a contract ending at Athletic Club Bilbao in June, and could conceivably be persuaded to be eased in as competition to Keylor Navas.

David de Gea has of course been Real Madrid’s long standing target and whilst there have been other targets too, such as Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois and Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid, they’ve both been missing a key component… they’re not Spanish.

Having enjoyed Iker Casillas as Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper for so long, the De Gea attraction for Florentino Perez was partly replicating that situation. With it being seen as too difficult to get De Gea from Manchester United, Kepa is increasingly viewed as the long term alternative, because he could eventually take over from the United stopper for Spain.

There’s around four years difference between the two men, with De Gea turning 27 in November and Kepa just…



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