Kepa Arrizabalaga, the Chelsea goalkeeper, has joined Real Madrid on a season-long loan.
The Blues signed the 28-year-old Spain international from Athletic Bilbao for £71.6 million in August 2018, and he is under contract at the Bernabeu until June of next year.
Real Madrid were seeking for a replacement goalkeeper after Thibaut Courtois sustained an ACL tear in training on Thursday, which will keep him out for the rest of the season.
“Real Madrid CF and Chelsea FC have agreed on the loan of the player Kepa Arrizabalaga, who is linked to the club this season, until June 30, 2024,” according to a statement on Real’s official website.
During his five seasons at Chelsea, he won the Champions League, Club World Cup, European Super Cup, and Europa League.
“This year, he was awarded the Premier League’s best save for the 2022/2023 season.”
“Kepa is a member of the Spanish national team, which got the 2023 Nations League championship,” the statement reads. He also won the U19 European Championship with Spain in 2012.”
Kepa Arrizabalaga is now a Real Madrid Player
Kepa will make his formal Real Madrid debut on Tuesday.
His return to Spain follows the arrival of fellow Spaniard Robert Sanchez, 25, at Stamford Bridge.
Sanchez joined Brighton for £25 million earlier this month. On his debut, Sanchez started Sunday’s 1-1 home draw with Liverpool.
Kepa has played 163 times for Chelsea. The Spanish has also became captain last year.
However, he has become surplus to requirements under new manager Mauricio Pochettino and will now work for former Chelsea head coach Carlo Ancelotti for a season.
“The club wishes him well for the season ahead in Madrid, where he will work with former Chelsea head coach Carlo Ancelotti,” Chelsea said in a statement.
Real Madrid play Almeria in their second La Liga game on Saturday, and Kepa might make his debut.