Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Chelsea prepared to pay €80m for Kepa Arrizabalaga of Athletic Bilbao

Chelsea prepared to pay €80m for Kepa Arrizabalaga of Athletic Bilbao

Reports are circling on Tuesday afternoon that Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao.

The west London club completed a world-record deal for the 23-year-old last night and he will train with his new team-mates today.

Kepa's arrival at Stamford Bridge came shortly after Chelsea had agreed to sell Belgian global 'keeper Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid for a reported fee of €35 million.

Courtois, part of the Belgium team that enjoyed their most successful ever World Cup, was due to return to training on Monday, but didn't show up.

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Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is off to Real Madrid from Chelsea. "I have taken my time and I want to thank the club that respected it to make my decision".

Manchester United legend Gary Neville believes Chelsea will miss Thibaut Courtois. The Brazilian was Chelsea's first choice to replace Courtois, but he was keen to work with Jurgen Klopp.

The Blues faced a race against time as to sign the young worldwide before the Premier League transfer window closes on Thursday at 18:00 CEST - tasked with convincing the shot-stopper to move to England, despite Kepa having just renewed his contract.

"So many things attracted me to the club - all the titles the club has won, the other players, the city, the English Premier League", Kepa said.

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After being strongly linked to Real Madrid, Arrizabalaga signed a new deal with Bilbao in January which raised his release fee to 80 million from 20 million.

Eden Hazard has hinted he is keen to leave Chelsea this summer as he eyes up a move to Real Madrid, but Blues officials have told Yahoo Sport that they will not entertain any offers for their number 10.

Chelsea are reportedly close to securing the signature of midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid. Transfer fee for the Belgian's move has not been disclosed by the clubs.

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