Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa’s buyout clause triggered ahead of Chelsea move

Thibaut Courtois On Verge Of Real Madrid Move Say Reports

Thibaut Courtois On Verge Of Real Madrid Move Say Reports

Athletic said the 23-year-old Kepa had his €80-million (NZ$138m) buyout clause paid on Wednesday, although the Spanish club did not say which team made the payment.

He is now in his home country and barring any more surprises, will move to Real Madrid before tomorrow's 5pm transfer deadline for a fee of around £35m.

Kepa is Spain's number two behind Manchester United's David de Gea.

The 22-year old will displace Liverpool's Alisson as the most expensive goalkeeper in world football, just a couple of weeks on from the Brazilian's £67 million move to Anfield.

Reports are circling on Tuesday afternoon that Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao.

He helped the Blues win two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge. The midfielder will join Jorginho in Chelsea's midfield who joined the Blues from Napoli.

Chelsea added in a statement that subjects to the completion of the Courtois deal, Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic would join the Blues from Real on a season-long loan.

He has played 53 times in La Liga for Bilbao over the last two seasons, and made his global debut in a 5-0 friendly win over Costa Rica in November 2017.

Courtois' intentions were concrete - Real Madrid are the only he side he wishes to play for, and to prepare for life without him Chelsea have deemed Kepa to be the only suitable replacement.

Kepa could make his Premier League debut against Huddersfield on Saturday after completing a deal that director Marina Granovskaia believes will be great for Chelsea.

Courtois only had a year left on his deal and has been absent from training this week as he looked to push through a move before the transfer window ended for Chelsea on Thursday.

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