Chelsea signed Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Club Bilbao after triggering his €80m release clause in August 2018 and in the same window they allowed Thibaut Courtois to join Real Madrid.
The Belgium international hasn’t impressed for Los Blancos and after a disappointing debut season, the situation has continued and the Spanish media are on the case.
Prior to signing the former Atletico Madrid man, Real Madrid had an opportunity to land Kepa in January 2018. He then had less than six months left on his contract at the Basque club.
When discussing Courtois’ poor form, Spanish newspaper AS also takes a look at how close Kepa was moving to the Santiago Bernabéu.
The current Blues keeper then had a €20m release clause in his Bilbao contract and Real Madrid had agreed to pay that to secure his services.
There was a total agreement with the player for the transfer and on January 4th, Kepa completed a medical with the 13-time European champions. AS states ‘only the signature was missing’.
However, two days later Zinedine Zidane blocked the transfer and later that month Kepa ended up signing a new deal at Bilbao.
Given the doubts currently around Courtois, and that Kepa is now Spain’s No.1, it’s seen as something of a mistake.