This is the new Chelsea goalkeeper. 71£M paid by The Blues
Chelsea have paid a world-record fee for a goalkeeper of £71.6m to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao.
Kepa has signed a seven year contract at Stamford Bridge and will replace Thibaut Courtois, who will join Real Madrid on Thursday.
The Blues met Kepa’s hefty release clause in his contract at Athletic after Courtois failed to show up for pre-season training on Monday in an attempt to force through a move to Spanish giants Real.
The deal means Kepa has now become the world’s most expensive goalkeeper – with his £71.5m fee eclipsing the £67m Liverpool paid Roma to sign Alisson earlier this summer.
Who is Kepa?
Kepa flew to London on Wednesday and, after completing a medical at Chelsea’s training base in Cobham, the club officially confirmed their new expensive recruit.
“It’s a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life,” Kepa said.
“So many things attracted me to the club, all the titles the club has won, the other players, the city, the English Premier League. It’s an accumulation of things, and I am very glad Chelsea has decided to trust me and to take me in as well.”
The 23-year-old will take up the No.1 jersey at Chelsea ahead of Willy Caballero and Rob Green, who saved a penalty in Chelsea’s final pre-season game against Lyon on Tuesday night, and could be in line for his debut against Huddersfield this weekend.
Kepa had been wanted by Real Madrid in the winter transfer window but, after the move fell through, Athletic handed the goalkeeper a new contract with a huge release clause inserted into it.
In a statement on their website, Athletic thanked Kepa for his services to the club since joining at the tender age of nine.
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