Chelsea Sign Kepa Arrizabalaga From Athletic Bilbao For £71.5m
Chelsea have completed the club-record signing of Athletic Bilbao’s goalstopper, Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Kepa arrived the English side on Wednesday, hours after Athletic Bilbao confirmed the trigger of his €80 million (£71.5m) release clause, making him the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.
The 23-year-old signed a seven-year contract at Stamford Bridge, shortly after Chelsea confirmed a deal had been reached to grant Thibaut Courtois his desired move to Real Madrid.
Chelsea were forced to scramble to find a new first-choice goalkeeper in the final days of the Premier League transfer window after Courtois declined to report at Cobham for training on Monday, instead choosing to remain in Belgium and exert pressure on the Blues to sell him to Madrid.
“It’s a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life,” Kepa told Chelsea’s website.
“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 buyout clause eclipses Chelsea’s previous record transfer fee, the €65.5m (£58m) they paid Real for Spanish striker Alvaro Morata last summer.