Chelsea close in on £71m Kepa world-record deal

Chelsea close in on £71m Kepa world-record deal
Chelsea close in on £71m Kepa world-record deal

Chelsea have taken a huge step in confirming Thibaut Courtois' move to Real Madrid with Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga paying £71 million to buy out his contract with the Spanish club.

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It means that Courtois is now free to travel directly from his Belgium home to the Bernabeu for his medical, ending the saga that started in the middle of the World Cup finals in June.

Kepa has bought out his contract in conjunction with the Spanish FA's rules that the player himself must pay off his contract, giving the money indirectly to his club via the Spanish FA.

Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri praised Arrizabalaga on Tuesday night.

"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 Lyon in a friendly.

Kepa is on his way to ChelseaGetty Images

A fee of £71 million, a world-record fee for a goalkeeper, is the Spaniard's release clause that Chelsea have triggered.

The deal will surpass the record set by Liverpool and Alisson in July, when the Reds splashed £66.8m on the Brazilian.

Video - The huge deals which could set a new record on transfer deadline day

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Despite signing a new seven-year contract in January to cool Real Madrid's interest, Kepa has decided now is the right time to test himself abroad.

The Athletic Bilbao keeper made 30 La Liga appearances last season and made his debut for Spain in 2017, going to the World Cup as his country's third keeper.

Oli Gent - @olivergent7

This article was written by cool news network.

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