Kepa Arrizabalaga Real Madrid 2023-24Getty

Chelsea loanee Kepa Arrizabalaga reveals how close he came to Bayern Munich switch after phone call with Thomas Tuchel before joining Real Madrid

  • Kepa rejected Bayern move
  • Joined Madrid on loan
  • Wants to continue at Madrid

WHAT HAPPENED? An injury to Madrid's first-choice keeper Thibaut Courtois threw open an opportunity for Kepa to complete a loan move to the Spanish giants. However, prior to that, he was close to joining the Bundesliga champions and even had a chat with coach Tuchel as he was desperate for a change despite assurances from Mauricio Pochettino that he would be the No. 1 at Chelsea. Things took a dramatic turn when he got a call from the upper echelons of the Santiago Bernabeu, however, which forced him to change his mind.

WHAT THEY SAID: "It's true that Pochettino wanted me to stay and he told me that I was going to play, that he trusted me, 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," Kepa told Marca.

"I felt it was time for a change of scenery. I wanted to stay, but I felt that the project was not the right one... When Madrid calls you, everything changes. My signing was closed in just a few hours and a couple of calls."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Kepa has enjoyed a fine start to his career in Madrid as he has conceded just two goals in four league games. Now the Spaniard wants to continue with the capital-based side beyond his loan spell and has no desire to return to Chelsea.

"I really hope Real Madrid will keep me at the end of the season," he said.

"The decision has been very easy. I had other important offers but Real Madrid is Real Madrid. When Real Madrid wanted me everything was clear. Spanish players always talk about Real Madrid during the international break. Everything about this club is spectacular."


Jude Bellingham Kepa Arrizabalaga Real Madrid 2023-24GettyTHOMAS TUCHEL BAYERN MÜNCHEN 12082023Getty Images

WHAT NEXT? It will be a tall order for Kepa to convince Madrid to extend his stay at the Bernabeu when Courtois returns to action next year, unless he accepts being backup to the Belgian shot-stopper. Nonetheless, in the short term, he is the preferred choice between the sticks ahead of Andriy Lunin and will get ample opportunities to prove his mettle this campaign.