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Kirkland: Real Madrid in the hunt for a goalkeeper after Courtois ACL injury (1:11)

Alex Kirkland explains how Thibaut Courtois’s knee injury forces Real Madrid to enter the transfer market for a goalkeeper. (1:11)

  • Multiple Contributors

Aug 12, 2023, 10:31 AM ET

Real Madrid have accelerated talks with Chelsea over a loan for goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, sources have told ESPN, after Sevilla’s financial demands put them off a move for Yassine Bounou.

Madrid are in the market for a goalkeeper after Thibaut Courtois suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear in a training session on Thursday, leaving them relying on the inexperienced Andriy Lunin, 24.

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Chelsea signed Robert Sánchez from Brighton & Hove Albion as their new No. 1 last week and are open to letting Kepa go, but would expect a significant loan fee, sources said.

ESPN reported on Friday that Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti’s first choice was Bounou, 32, but concerns over the size of the transfer fee – with Sevilla expecting to receive over €30 million ($32.8m) – and the player’s participation in January’s Africa Cup of Nations have seen that option shelved.

Madrid had been sounding out alternatives, including the former Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and Chelsea’s Kepa.

There was divided opinion within the club over De Gea, while Kepa was first contacted on Thursday, when he put a stop to talks with Bayern Munich to prioritise a move to Madrid.

Kepa, 28, was previously close to a switch to the Bernabeu in 2018, before the club opted for Courtois.

With Courtois due to undergo surgery in the coming days ahead of a comeback in around seven months time, Madrid are now pursuing a loan move for Kepa with an option to make the deal permanent, rather than spending a hefty transfer fee on Bounou.

Courtois, 31, has become one of Madrid’s most important players since joining from Chelsea in 2018, helping them win a LaLiga and Champions League double in 2022.

Madrid play their first game of the new LaLiga season on Saturday, travelling to Athletic Club, with Lunin set to start in goal.

Ancelotti said on Friday that he had “total faith” in Lunin and that any incoming goalkeeper would have to compete with the Ukrainian for a place in the team.