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Arsenal dealt transfer blow as rival set to seal ‘imminent’ £17.7m deal

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Arsenal are likely to miss out on Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga with Real Madrid looking set to tie up a deal for the 23 year old very soon, according to Marca.

The Spanish international’s contract expires at the end of the season, and the player currently has a €20m release clause which Real will look to trigger in the January transfer window. There is reportedly an “imminent” agreement that will see the Spaniard make the switch to the Bernabeu.

Bilbao are having to consider letting Kepa go as they will risk losing him for nothing at the end of the season otherwise. The stopper has been locked in contract talks with the Basque club for close to a year but the two sides have not come to an agreement on a new deal.

The goalkeeper was also reportedly a target for the Gunners with Arsene Wenger seeking a long term replacement for Petr Cech. The Frenchman’s comments this week, that the 35 year old can go on playing into his 40s, suggest that the club are not desperate to strengthen in goal, leaving Real with a clear run to sign Kepa.

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