Chelsea signs Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for 80 million euros

Allison Becker

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As time wound down on Wednesday, Chelsea signed Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for £72.1million, in a world-record transfer for a goalkeeper.

The deal will also see Croatia global Mateo Kovacic join Chelsea on loan for the duration of the 2018-19 season.

He is believed to have a release clause of 80m euros (£71m) in his Athletic contract, which the Premier League club are apparently willing to meet.

Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois is set to leave Chelsea for Real Madrid

The Spanish global, 23, had yet to sign by press time but he would become the world's most expensive stopper ahead of Liverpool's Alisson, who cost €75 million from Roma last month.

The Blues broke the world record fee for a goalkeeper to bring the 23-year-old in from Athletic Bilbao in a deal worth £72m.

Report after report has surfaced over Courtois' exit, with stories going as far to say that a fee had been agreed between Chelsea and Real Madrid for the Belgian.

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"It's a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life", Kepa told Chelsea's website.

Courtois spent three years on loan at Atlético Madrid from Chelsea, before becoming Chelsea's No 1 in 2014-15.

I fulfilled a childhood dream playing in the Premier League, therefore I am really proud that we were able to win two Premier League titles, a League Cup and an FA cup!

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"It's an accumulation of things, and I am very glad Chelsea has chose to trust me and to take me in as well".

Meanwhile, midfielder Willian continues to be linked with a move to Manchester United and Barcelona, even though Chelsea are reluctant to sell the 29-year-old Brazilian.

Chelsea have wasted no time in showing off their latest addition, with Kovacic snapped around Stamford Bridge with the new home kit for 2018/19. As part of the deal Mateo Kovacic will join on a season-long loan'.

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