News ID: 219577
Published: 0309 GMT August 08, 2018

Chelsea activates world-record €80m release clause for Kepa

Chelsea activates world-record €80m release clause for Kepa

Chelsea is closing in on the signing of Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga having activated the goalkeeper's €80m (£71m/$92m) release clause.

The player's representatives and lawyers travelled to La Liga headquarters in Valencia to pay the fee, with Kepa now due to travel to London to undergo a medical and finalize personal terms, reported.

Athletic confirmed that the release clause had been paid on Wednesday, issuing a statement that read, "The player Kepa Arrizabalaga has met the requirements for the valid unilateral termination of the contract that linked him to Athletic Club.

"Athletic thanks the player for his contribution during the time he has remained with our club."

The Kepa deal will break the club's previous transfer record, set last season when the Blues signed Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid in an initial £58m ($75m) deal, potentially rising to £70m ($90m).

It will also make Kepa the world's most expensive goalkeeper, less than a month after Alisson joined Liverpool in a £65m (€73m/$85m) move.

The move for the Spaniard will free up Thibaut Courtois to complete a switch to Real Madrid, with the Belgian having been absent from training as he looked to force through a switch to Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid has been keen to bring in Courtois in a €35m deal (£31m/$40m) for some time now, where the funds expected from that transfer being used by the Blues to secure Athletic goalkeeper Kepa.

And the Blues' transfer business isn't likely to end with Kepa – understands Maurizio Sarri's side is in talks over a loan move for Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

Indeed, Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has revealed that his side will attempt to find a "high level replacement" should Kovacic complete a switch to Stamford Bridge.

Time is against Sarri and Chelsea, however, with the transfer window for Premier League clubs closing at 5pm BST today.

Chelsea gets its Premier League campaign underway on Saturday with an away trip to David Wagner's Huddersfield Town.



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