Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2017

Real Madrid transfer news: 2018 World Cup could scupper January transfer plans | Football | Sport

The club are interested in signing Athletic Bilbao and Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Spanish newspaper Marca say it’s highly unlikely Arrizabalaga will sign a new Bilbao deal before January 1, meaning he can then speak to other clubs.

Real are keeping an eye on the situation and have highlighted him as a potential addition to compete with Keylor Navas to be first choice.

They are considering the possibility of bringing him to the Bernabeu by paying his £17.9million release clause – although there is one big problem.

Arrizabalaga needs regular football to ensure he remains in contention for a spot in Spain’s World Cup squad.

Julen Lopetegui will take three keepers to Russia and Arrizabalaga is in his thoughts after making his debut on Saturday.

He played the full 90 minutes in a 5–0 friendly win over Costa Rica in Malaga on what proved to be a quiet night.

Navas is Zinedine Zidane’s No 1 and Arrizabalaga wouldn’t be guaranteed a first-team spot at Real if he was to move. It means he could call off a possible transfer in favour of a summer deal instead.

Arrizabalaga shares an agent with Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos, with the pair combining at the European Under-21 Championship last summer.

Quizzed on the exit talk on Saturday, the keeper said: “I’ve just made my debut, I am happy, enjoying this moment.

“I am a player of Athletic and the national team, and there’s little else I can say.

“The truth is the [rumours] do not make me nervous. You hear them, you see them, I am not blind and know what is going on around me.

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“But I know I am who I am for what I do, not for what people say. I try to keep a calm head.”

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