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Arsenal are set to enter a three way battle for the signature of young Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Gunners who have been monitoring the contractual situation of the young custodian are reportedly set to swoop in for the keeper but would however have to see off interest from Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid and Italian side Napoli.
The Spanish youth international who is into the last year of his contract at San Mames is very highly rated in Spain and is understood to possess the ability required to one day become the number one for the Spanish national side.
Negotiations between club and keeper regarding a contract extension for the shot stopper are understood to have broken down over wage demands, meaning he can sign a pre-contract agreement with a club outside of Spain from January.
According to the Express via Daily Cannon, the 22-year-old who has been compared to Manchester United’s David de Gea, is reportedly demanding a pay rise and has already turned down Bilbao’s offer of a four-year deal because they were not willing to offer it. Apparently, the young goalkeeper wants £1.9m a year, which is around £36,538-a-week.
Wenger’s interest in the promising goalkeeper should come as no surprise, Wojciech Szczesny who was expected to take over the number one spot from the aging current custodian of the gloves Petr Cech, permanently departed the Emirates in the summer while David Ospina who continues to be frustrated with life as a back up would also jump at the chance of leaving in search of more regular game time.
Should Wenger beat his rivals to the signature of the keeper, he will be expected to begin life in North London as back up to Cech to gain the much needed experience over a couple of years with a view of becoming the number one for the future.