Chelsea have offered a deal to Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to Spanish TV programme El Chiringuito de Jugones (via ElBernabeu.com).
The 23 year old has been heavily linked with a switch to either Real Madrid or Arsenal in recent weeks, but speaking yesterday about the player, presenter Josep Pedrerol revealed Chelsea had become the third club to enter the running for the Spanish international:
“Kepa has an offer from Chelsea and is further away from Real Madrid.”
Kepa has been locked in contract negotiations with Bilbao for nearly a year, with disputes over the size of the player’s release clause and his salary. There has been progress on the buyout clause with both sides compromising on a €75m fee but the sticking point remains the keeper’s wages.
The Spaniard wants to have parity with the club’s top earners Aritz Aduriz and Aymeric Laporte but so far Bilbao have been unwilling to give him what he wants. Reports in Spain suggest Real Madrid want to make Kepa their new number one keeper while Arsenal are lining him up as a long term replacement for Petr Cech.