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Real close in on signing Bilbao goalie Kepa


Madrid (AFP) – Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has passed his medical at Real Madrid and is set to complete his 20 million euros ($24 million) transfer from Bilbao, Spanish media reported on Friday.

The move had been thrown into doubt by a badly timed injury for the 23 year old, but Spanish sports media reported that the medical allayed any worries and that Kepa’s agent and Real were meeting to put the finishing touches to a contract, which could be for six years.

“The next step is to pay his buyout clause and present him as a player. That should be achieved in the next few hours or days,” AS, a sports daily, said.

The player’s registration could be delayed until early next week because Spain celebrates Epiphany with a national holiday on Saturday and the league offices will be closed.

Real’s next match is in the Copa del Rey against Numancia at the Bernebeu next Wednesday.

The young Basque is slender and agile, stands 6ft 3in (1.94m) tall and weighs 84 kilos. He came through the Bilbao youth system, made his league debut in 2016 and has played 38 times for the club but his contract is due to expire in June and he had refused to sign a new one.

He was part of the Spanish team that won the European under-19 Championship in 2012 and made his first appearance for the senior national team in November, playing 90 minutes in a 5-0 friendly win over Costa Rica.

Kepa’s arrival could push Kiko Casilla, the usual backup to Keylor Navas,  toward the exit.

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