Sports

Chelsea confirm signing Kepa Arrizabalaga on seven-year contract for £71.6m

Chelsea confirm signing Kepa Arrizabalaga on seven-year contract for £71.6m

Sources told ESPN FC that Kepa boarded a flight from Bilbao Airport on Tuesday, with Spanish newspaper AS reporting that he is set to meet with his representatives in Madrid and decide whether to make the move to Stamford Bridge.

But it is not just Kepa's transfer fee that will raise eyebrows, as Chelsea have agreed to pay the 23-year-old roughly £10m-a-year over seven years - taking the total value of the transfer to £141.6m.

Chelsea are ready to hand Kepa Arrizabalaga his debut away to Huddersfield Town on Saturday after they paid the goalkeeper's £71.6 million release clause to Athletic Bilbao. This would be the second time it has been broken during this window after Liverpool won the race to sign Allison from Roma.

Real Madrid also announced it will loan midfielder Mateo Kovacic to Chelsea in a separate, but simultaneously completed, deal.

"I saw (Kepa) one year ago, my first impression was that he is a very good goalkeeper, very young but very good", said the Italian coach after his team drew 0-0 with Olympique Lyonnais in a friendly.

Kepa is Spain's number two behind Manchester United's David de Gea.

More news: Israel's killing of a Gaza teen focus of dailies — Newspaper Review

A statement on Athletic's website read: "Kepa Arrizabalaga has met the requirements for the valid unilateral termination of the work contract that linked him to Athletic Club".

Madrid's starting goalkeeper has been Keylor Navas, who helped the club win the last three Champions League titles.

Real Madrid have confirmed that Courtois will undergo a medical on Thursday morning, before signing a six-year deal and being presented at 1pm local time (midday BST).

He has played 53 times in La Liga for Bilbao over the last two seasons, and made his worldwide debut in a 5-0 friendly win over Costa Rica in November 2017.

Julen Lopetegui says that he is reluctant to offload Mateo Kovacic, despite the midfielder wanting out of Real Madrid.


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