Bayern Munich’s search for a new goalkeeper went in many directions before landing on 23-year-old Daniel Peretz who joined the German champions from Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Bavarian club was scouring the market to replace Yann Sommer during the summer window. The Swiss goalkeeper left Bayern Munich to join Inter Milan.
We learned earlier this summer that Kepa Arrizabalaga was a player of interest to Thomas Tuchel, who managed the Spanish keeper in the Premier League at Chelsea. Tuchel was with Chelsea for just over 18 months and it was a tumultuous time with rumours indicating that the Bayern Manager found the setup at the West London club difficult, with the German disagreeing on the transfer strategy and being left out of key decisions.
During his only full year in charge, Tuchel often favoured Senegalese keeper Edouard Mendy over Kepa, with the Spanish keeper making just four starts in the Premier League. Despite featuring in a few games under Tuchel at Chelsea, Kepa became a concrete opportunity for Bayern.
After missing out on David Raya, Bayern had turned attention towards signing Kepa on a season-long loan move. The transfer looked certain to go ahead, but the injury to Thibaut Courtois at Real Madrid changed the situation on its head. While talking to Marca this week, Kepa revealed Die Roten’s strong interest in signing him this summer.
"“Thomas Tuchel called me. I was close to going to Munich. When a coach that didn’t play you much says he wants you in his team, that gives you a good feeling. But due to circumstances such as the injury, unfortunately, of a colleague (Courtois), the possibility to play for Real Madrid arose. In the end, Real Madrid is Real Madrid. When Real Madrid calls you, you don’t have to think twice”"
Always difficult to compete with Real Madrid for signings.
Most players consider Real Madrid the pinnacle of European football, so it comes as little surprise to hear that Kepa was all in as soon as Madrid’s interest became known. But, had it not been for Thibaut Courtois suffering an injury to his ACL early in August, there’s a good chance that Kepa would be between the sticks in Munich this season.
Despite Kepa being kept on the bench thanks to the fine form of Mendy, Tuchel was always positive about the Spanish keeper, calling him a ‘fantastic team player’ and saying he ‘can be a very strong number one’. So their relationship seems like an extremely positive one.
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The good news for Bayern is that Manuel Neuer is progressing well in his return to training following a serious injury and stand-in keeper Sven Ulreich has been doing a fine job in place of the club legend.
Once Neuer returns, Ulreich will return to the bench and Daniel Peretz was signed with an eye to the future. Kepa has landed his dream job at Real Madrid and is guaranteed a full season in place of Courtois, something he wasn’t guaranteed in Munich.