Chelsea target Kepa Arrizabalaga has paid his release clause of £71.8m to La Liga to make way for his Premier League move to the West London club with only a day before the transfer window closes
The deal would be Chelsea’s record signing and the most expensive goalkeeper ever, surpassing the £66.8m Liverpool paid for Alisson in July.
The 23-year-old Spaniard will replace Thibaut Courtois who has not attended training for Chelsea amid his move to La Liga giants Real Madrid.
Kepa’s former club Athletic Bilbao have confirmed the payment of the clause in a statement, adding: “Athletic thanks the player for his contribution during his time at the club.”
Having flown into Madrid on Tuesday evening, Kepa is now off to London to undergo a medical and sign his new contract with the Blues.
Courtois, on the other hand, will eventually be announced as the newest addition to Los Blancos as Real have already agreed a fee and personal terms with the Belgian goal-stopper.
Kepa, 23, is considered one of the brightest young goalkeeping talents in the world and was part of Spain’s squad at the World Cup in Russia alongside Manchester United’s David De Gea.
Incredibly, Chelsea could have signed Kepa for just £18m back in January, which was his old release clause before he signed a new five-year contract.
In other news, Chelsea have also signed 24-year-old Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic on Wednesday ahead of a season-long loan move from Real Madrid.
He has spent the last three seasons at Real after joining from Inter Milan and played in Croatia’s run to the World Cup final in July.
Real boss Julen Lopetegui said he “expressed his desire” for the player to stay, after his team’s 2-1 friendly win against Roma on Tuesday night.