Kepa’s €80m release clause paid as Chelsea seal deal for Courtois replacement
The Blues are on the verge of completing the signing of the Athletic Club goalkeeper, with their Belgian No.1 heading to Real Madrid
Chelsea are close to finalising the signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga having activated the goalkeeper’s €80 million (£71m/$92m) release clause, Goal can confirm.
The player’s representatives and lawyers travelled to La Liga headquarters in Valencia on Wednesday to pay the fee, with Kepa now due to travel to London to undergo a medical and finalise personal terms.
The Kepa deal will break the club’s previous transfer record, set last season when the Blues signed Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid in an initial £58m ($75m) deal, potentially rising to £70m ($90m).
It will also make Kepa the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, less than a month after Alisson joined Liverpool in a £65m (€73m/$85m) move.
The move fo the Spaniard will free up Thibaut Courtois to complete a switch to Real Madrid, with the Belgian having been absent from training as he looked to force through a switch to Santiago Bernabeu.
Madrid have been keen to bring in Courtois in a €35m deal (£31m/$40m) for some time now, where the funds expected from that transfer being used by the Blues to secure Athletic goalkeeper Kepa.
And the Blues’ transfer business isn’t likely to end with Kepa – Goal understands Maurizio Sarri’s side are in talks over a loan move for Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
Indeed, Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has revealed that his side will attempt to find a “high level replacement” should Kovacic complete a switch to Stamford Bridge.
Time is against Sarri and Chelsea, however, with the transfer window for Premier League clubs closing at 5pm BST on August 9.
Chelsea get their Premier League campaign underway on Saturday with an away trip to David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town.