Kepa Arrizabalaga Move to Real Madrid Could Be Delayed Due to Foot Injury

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2018

BILBAO, SPAIN - DECEMBER 02:  Kepa Arrizabalaga of Athletic Club reacts during the La Liga match between Athletic Club and Real Madrid at Estadio de San Mames on December 2, 2017 in Bilbao, Spain.  (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga reportedly underwent a medical with Real Madrid last week during which a foot injury was discovered that could delay his move to the Santiago Bernabeu. 

According to Onda Cero (via AS), Kepa may require an operation on the second metatarsal of his right foot and could be out until March, meaning Real are now more likely to complete the signing of the 23-year-old stopper in the summer rather than the current transfer window.

The report added the 'keeper is reluctant to go through with the surgery as he knows he needs to play regularly if he is to be included in the Spain squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Marca reported last week Kepa had passed his medical with Real, and the Madrid outfit were set to pay his €20 million release clause.

An alternative report from Juan Jimenez of AS explained he had signed a contract with Zinedine Zidane's team, but the deal included two start dates, the first in January and the second in June. 

If the goalkeeper is injured, it seems likely Real will opt to complete his signing in the summer as there would be little point bringing him to the Bernabeu just to recover.

There is no suggestion, though, the discovery of Kepa's foot injury could end Real's interest in him.

The young Spanish stopper is a huge talent and could be one of the world's best over the next decade and more.

He has been a regular in the Athletic first team for the past two seasons and, at €20 million, is reasonably priced given his potential.

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 23: Goalkeeper Keylor Navas of Real Madrid gestures during the La Liga 2017-18 match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on December 23 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

It has been clear for some time Real are keen to shake up their goalkeeping department, and back-up Kiko Casilla could leave the club in 2018, per Marca (via MailOnline's Jordan Seward).

However, it is unclear whether Kepa is set to take over as the first-choice goalkeeper when he moves to Madrid.

Per MailOnline's Pete Jenson, Los Blancos have long been linked with an interest in Manchester United's David De Gea and Chelsea stopper Thibaut Courtois, neither of whom would accept anything less than the No. 1 spot were they to move to Real.