Keeper Kepa completes big money move to Chelsea

Virginia Santiago
August 10, 2018

Chelsea were unwilling to part ways with Courtois unless they had an immediate, suitable replacement lined up, but made the move to let their Belgian leave and get the Kepa deal over the line before the start of deadline day.

Kepa Arrizabalaga believes goalkeepers are finally getting the credit they deserve after Chelsea paid a world record 80-million-euro fee for a 'keeper to Athletic Bilbao for his services.

Going the other way on Thursday to Chelsea from the Primera Liga club was midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who has moved on a season-long loan.

Following the news of Thibaut Courtois' imminent departure to Real Madrid, the Blues moved fast to secure the services of Kepa from Athletic Bilbao after courting the player for some time.

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Kepa became the most expensive goalkeeper when Chelsea chose to meet the buyout clause in his contract with Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday, eclipsing the £56m that Liverpool paid Roma for Alisson last month.

But, in freakish circumstances, Chelsea did not include a clause in the Kovacic contract which would enable them to make the deal a permanent one if the Croatian worldwide impresses in the Premier League.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is off to Real Madrid from Chelsea. I want to thank the fans for their great support.

The Belgium global, named best goalkeeper at the World Cup this summer, has signed a six-year deal. Marca said "he would stay at Madrid" because "the club meant to increase his salary".

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"I think we all know that, when you're a kid, there's always a club that really makes you sit up and take notice".

"I hope I'll be able to adjust & adapt as soon as possible".

"But the most important thing is to open a new page with our club and to be ready to give everything for the club".

"I received a lot of offers, some better from a financial point of view, but I wanted to come here, and importantly, be close to my children".

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