During a summer transfer window that often saw Bayern Munich at the centre of transfer speculation, one such potential target that flew under the radar was that of Kepa Arrizabalaga. The former Chelsea goalkeeper was a target – of which there were many – for Thomas Tuchel in the absence of Manuel Neuer, but the Spanish shot-stopper elected to sign for Real Madrid instead.
In a recent interview with Marca, the goalkeeper explained his decision: “Thomas Tuchel called me. We were about to fly to Munich. Due to circumstances such as the injury of a colleague, the opportunity to play for Real arose. The colleague was Thibaut Courtois.”
“When a coach you didn’t play for wants you in his team later, that gives you a good feeling,” commented Kepa. “In the end, Real Madrid is Real Madrid. When Real Madrid calls you, you don’t think about it.”
Being considered second best to Real Madrid may be a difficult pill for those at the Säbener Straße to swallow, however, they would not let it affect their transfer plans. Israeli goalkeeper Daniel Peretz was signed to fill the void until Neuer returns to his post.
However, Thomas Tuchel was not the driving force behind the deal to sign Peretz and was hoping that one of his suggestions would eventually be lured to the club. Nevertheless, after Bayern management claimed Tuchel’s transfer recommendations to be ‘erratic’ they took business into their own hands.
Whether missing out on an established goalkeeper in one of Europe’s top five leagues will come back to haunt Die Rekordmeister is yet to be seen. However, after recent comments made by Tuchel regarding his disappointment in the club not signing a ‘number six’, the head coach certainly believes his squad is lacking in different areas.
GGFN | Will Shopland