Bayern Munich in talks to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga

Reigning German champions Bayern Munich have reportedly opened talks with Chelsea over a potential deal to land goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

According to Sky Sports Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel is eyeing up a reunion with Kepa Arrizabalaga, as the Bavarians have the Chelsea goalkeeper at the top of their shortlist. Talks between the two clubs are believed to have been held, but the next steps will likely develop in the coming days.

Indeed, concerns about the recovery period of first-choice Manuel Neuer, coupled with departures, have left Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel in a tricky situation.

Neuer broke his leg in a skiing accident in December last year, and it was expected the 37-year-old would be ready for the new season, but as it now turns out, he may remain on the sidelines for longer than first thought. He could miss several months of the new campaign while continuing his rehab. There are also doubts about whether he can play at the same level as before.

Yann Sommer recently completed his €6 million switch to Inter Milan, while once-expected Neuer-successor, Alexander Nubel has been loaned out once again. Tuchel is unconvinced to go the entire season with 35-year-old Sven Ulreich as his No. 1 and is determined to land a new goalkeeper in the coming days.

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After seeing a loan with an option-to-buy offer for Brentford’s David Raya hijacked by Arsenal, Tuchel has now set his sights on his former club and supposedly put forward the name of Kepa Arrizalabaga as a recommendation.

Ironically enough, Tuchel actually picked Edouard Mendy over Kepa for much of his tenure at Stamford Bridge. In any case, Tuchel hopes to forge a reunion with the Spaniard, and the same loan with an obligation to buy proposal earmarked for Raya will be tabled for Kepa, which could conceivably tempt the Blues even after essentially declaring him Mauricio Pochettino’s No. 1.

The 28-year-old only has two years left on his contract, and Chelsea would be keen to receive a fair sum for a player who remains the most expensive goalkeeper in football history following his £71 million move from Athletic Club in 2018.

Chelsea would also be eager to get his hefty salary off their wage bill, particularly now that they have already brought in Robert Sanchez in a £25 million deal from Brighton, while the player himself is open to moving to Germany. Sanchez was originally signed with the intention of providing competition to Kepa but could now serve as a direct replacement.

As well as Kepa, Bayern are considering Ajax’s Geronimo Rulli and Sevilla’s Yassine Bounou, but they would likely have to pay an upfront transfer fee for the other two. The German heavyweights are not looking to spend big on a goalkeeper as they continue their long-drawn pursuit of £100 million-rated England captain Harry Kane.

Should Kepa leave, the West London club would target a replacement goalkeeper to provide cover and competition for Sanchez, with Valencia’s Giorgi Mamardashvili and Dortmund’s Gregor Kobel on their shortlist.

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