Chelsea complete world-record £72m deal for Athletic Bilbao Kepa Arrizabalaga

Chelsea complete world-record £72m deal for Athletic Bilbao Kepa Arrizabalaga

- Chelsea have sealed a seven-year deal for Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao

- The 23-year-old will be the Blues No 1 goalie after the exit of Thibaut Courtois

- The deal for Kepa overtakes the £66.8m Liverpool paid for Alisson in July

Premier League side Chelsea have sealed a world-record deal of £72million for Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

According to a UK Daily Mail report, the 23-year-old Spaniard penned a seven-year deal at the Blues and will replace Belgium goalie, Thibaut Courtois as the club's No 1.

Interestingly, the £72m Chelsea coughed out for Kepa, overtakes the £66.8m paid by Liverpool for Roma’s Alisson last month. The Brazilian was top choice on Chelsea's wish-list to replace Courtois, but preferred to work with Jurgen Klopp.

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On his switch to the Premier League from Spanish La Liga Kepa said: “It's a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life.

“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.”

Reacting on the move Chelsea Director Marina Granovskaia added: “Kepa is a talent we have admired for a long time and we are extremely excited about his arrival.

“He has already demonstrated fantastic quality and consistency and will be a big part of any success Chelsea have in the coming years.

“His long-term contract reflects the belief we have in him and we look ahead to the coming seasons with an enormous sense of optimism.”

In addition, Real Madrid confirmed the arrival of Courtois from Chelsea for £35million on a six-year deal on Wednesday.

Early in the year Kepa was close to joining Real Madrid but the deal fell through with his price at just £17.5m.

Italian topflight campaigner Napoli, then under the guidance Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, was also linked with the shot-stopper.

The Los Blancos opted to keep the door ajar for Chelsea’s Courtois after he showed interest to join the Santiago Benebeu outfit. As a result, Kepa was rewarded with a new £60,000-a-week deal at Athletic, but saw his buyout clause rise to £72m.

At 6ft 3in Kepa is regarded as one of the top goalkeepers with the potential to emerge from Spain and was included in La Roja summer World Cup squad.

Chelsea complete world-record £72m deal for Athletic Kepa Arrizabalaga on seven-year deal

Chelsea complete world-record £72m deal for Athletic Kepa Arrizabalaga on seven-year deal. Photo credit: Twitter

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Already, Kepa is in contention to mark his Premier League debut for Chelsea away at Huddersfield on Saturday and is expected to commence training with his new team-mates today.

Meanwhile, previously had reported that Chelsea have reportedly signed Athletic Bilbao star Kepa Arrizabalaga in a world record fee for goalkeepers this summer.

The Blues according to the Sun landed the Spain international in a £71.6million from the Spanish League side - a fee that smashed Liverpool's record for Roma's Alisson Becker earlier this transfer window.

Maurizio Sarri has been desperate to sign a substantial goalkeeper all summer long since the refusal of Belgium international Thibaut Courtois to report to Chelsea camp.

Kepa is expected to undergo medical at Stamford Bridge today ahead of making the move which will see him become the most expensive keeper in history.

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