REAL MADRID are ready to do business with Chelsea over a permanent deal for Kepa Arrizabalaga less than three months into his loan.
But the Spanish giants will not pay more than £17.5million for the keeper who cost the Blues a world-record £71.6m five years ago.
Kepa, 29, is back home in Spain as season-long cover for another ex-Chelsea stopper – injured Thibaut Courtois.
The player makes no secret of his desire to leave for good.
And he is also prepared to take a cut on his £176,000-a-week wages to make it happen.
Kepa has 20 months left on his contract at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have brought in Robert Sanchez as Kepa’s replacement.
And Madrid will also offer their current No2 – Ukrainian Andriy Lunin – in a part-exchange to help smooth a deal.
Chelsea took midfielder Mateo Kovacic as part of the transfer which saw Courtois move to Madrid in 2018.
Courtois is expected to miss the rest of the season with his serious knee injury.
But Kepa is ready to compete with the hugely-regarded 6ft 7ins Belgian next season when he is fit again.
Chelsea have Sanchez in goal but are looking at bringing in extra cover and also are interested in Aaron Ramsdale.
The England international has seen his position as Arsenal’s first-choice keeper undermined by the arrival of David Raya from Brentford.