Real Madrid have moved a step closer to the capture of Kepa Arrizabalaga after a reported £20m transfer was given the greenlight.
El Partidazo de COPE's Twitter account claims that Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane has given his backing to the arrival of the Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper, who has been on Real's radar over the past months.
The claim goes on to state that Kepa will act as backup to first-choice shot stopper Keylor Navas for the rest of this season, with the 23-year-old to be the number one choice for Real's remaining Copa del Rey clashes this term.
Informa @miguelitocope: "Esta mañana, cumbre en Valdebebas con Florentino, José Ángel Sánchez y Zidane. Se ha hablado de Kepa y Zidane ha dado el OK a la operación. Llegará ahora en enero por su cláusula, 20 millones, para ser suplente de Keylor y jugar la Copa". pic.twitter.com/ISOJqtl6xX— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) January 2, 2018
Arrizabalaga has entered the final six months of his contract with Bilbao, but is unwilling to pen an extension after talks over renewed terms broke down in December.
That increased speculation that a switch to Santiago Bernabeu could be on the cards for Kepa as multiple news outlets ran a story suggesting as much.
The arrival of Arrizabalaga will likely stem the flow of transfer rumours purporting that either David De Gea or Thibaut Courtois will rock up in Spain's capital for the time being too, with the Manchester United and Chelsea keepers touted as future Real stars.
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Whether the Spanish giants return for either in the summer remains to be seen but, with Kepa all but certain to join in the winter window, Real should be happy with their goalkeeping options for the next six months.
Kepa has turned out on 38 occasions for Bilbao since he made his senior bow back in August 2016 and, injuries aside, had installed himself as the club's best option to keep goal.
His string of impressive displays had alerted Real to his talents, and it wasn't long before speculation linking him with the reigning Spanish champions begun to surface.
If he does end up at Madrid it will almost certainly end Kiko Casilla's career, with the 31-year-old understudy to Navas to be shunted down to third choice and not likely to feature for a long time.