Arsenal make approach to seal transfer of rising star with bargain release clause

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Arsenal have reportedly made an initial approach over sealing the transfer of Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, but face competition from Real Madrid and Juventus.

The Gunners seem keen on bringing in a long-term replacement for the struggling Petr Cech, who looks past his peak as Arsene Wenger’s side struggle defensively this season.

Kepa would surely be an upgrade, with the 23-year-old attracting the interest of a number of top clubs as Marca report he is yet to commit his future to his current club.

Still, it seems Arsenal are not currently leading the race for Kepa’s signature as they have only had contact with unofficial intermediaries, while Real Madrid are considering stepping up their efforts to land him by meeting his £18million release clause, according to Marca.

Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa is a rumoured transfer target for Arsenal

It is known that Real are looking to offload current number one Keylor Navas in the near future, with Diario Gol today reporting that Florentino Perez has decided to axe the player despite manager Zinedine Zidane being a fan of his abilities.

The report claims Real remain committed to bringing in a big name like David de Gea or Thibaut Courtois in that position, and an earlier claim by Diario Gol also added that the Gunners could swoop for Navas if he becomes available.

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Either way, it looks like Cech’s days as Arsenal’s first choice are numbered, with the former Chelsea man looking decent as a short-term measure when he joined back in 2015, though he was never likely to be one for more than a few seasons.

Petr Cech looks past his best for Arsenal

The Czech Republic shot-stopper was long regarded as one of the best ‘keepers in the world during a successful career at Stamford Bridge, but has never really looked like replicating that in Arsenal’s colours.

With Wenger’s side letting in 16 goals already this season – the second-worst record in the top 9 in the table at the moment – Arsenal fans would surely be happy with either Kepa or Navas coming in to replace Cech.

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