Kepa Arrizabalaga was 'close' to Bayern Munich move & Chelsea asked him to stay

  • Kepa Arrizabalaga reflects on his loan move to Real Madrid
  • Thomas Tuchel was in touch over a Bayern Munich switch
  • Mauricio Pochettino asked goalkeeper to stay at Chelsea
Kepa Arrizabalaga is spending the season with Real Madrid
Kepa Arrizabalaga is spending the season with Real Madrid / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Real Madrid goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has revealed that he was "close" to joining Bayern Munich during the summer transfer window and that Chelsea actually wanted to keep him.

Kepa, who became the most expensive goalkeeper in history when he swapped Athletic Club for Chelsea in a £71.6m transfer in 2018, signed with Madrid on loan after number one Thibaut Courtois was ruled out long-term with an ACL injury.

The 28-year-old sat on the bench behind Andriy Lunin for his first game after arriving back in Spain but has since been given the nod by Carlo Ancelotti and has started both La Liga fixtures since.

The move to Madrid happened, in Kepa’s own words as he spoke to Marca, "very fast". He even rejected Mauricio Pochettino's request for him to stay at Chelsea with the incentive of remaining the starter, despite the £25m capture of Spain international colleague Robert Sanchez.

"It is true that, at Chelsea, Pochettino wanted me to stay and he told me that I was going to play, that he trusted me," Kepa explained.



"But I thought that a change would be good for me. I wanted a change.

"Thomas Tuchel called me. We were close to going to Munich. Due to circumstances such as the injury, unfortunately, of a teammate, the possibility arose [to go to Madrid]. In the end, Real Madrid is Real Madrid. When Real Madrid calls you, there are few things to think about."

Kepa had previously worked under Tuchel during the German’s spell at Stamford Bridge.

Madrid have won four games in a row to begin the 2023/24 season, hoping to wrestle La Liga glory back from Barcelona. Meanwhile, Chelsea are languishing mid-table in the Premier League, winning only one of their opening four matches and keeping just a single clean sheet.


On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Graeme Bailey to discuss Al Ittihad's attempts to sign Mohamed Salah, Jadon Sancho's Man Utd future, the players that could still leave the Premier League and more!

If you can't see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!