Kepa set for Chelsea, unlocking Courtois Real Madrid move
The Athletic Bilbao keeper has landed in Madrid to finalise the conditions of his contract with Chelsea, and will be unveiled at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday or Thursday.
Kepa Arrizabalaga is on the verge of becoming Chelsea’s new goalkeeper. As reported earlier by AS, the London club are willing to pay Athletic Bilbao his 80-million-euro release clause. All that remained was the player to give the green light and The Blues have managed to convince him to make the switch to England.
Negotiations are almost wrapped up, and Kepa has landed in Madrid on Tuesday evening to finalise the conditions of his contract with Chelsea. If all goes according to plan, the 23-year-old will fly to London on Wednesday or Thursday to be unveiled at Stamford Bridge as the club’s new number one.
Kepa had only renewed his contract until 2025 with Athletic back in January, but the offer to play for one of the Premier League’s top clubs was too big for the player to turn down. The Spaniard will see his salary increase from his current 4 million euros a year, and he will be a key figure in the new Chelsea project under new coach Maurizio Sarri, who will be keen to start working with his new number one as soon as possible.
Kepa key to unlocking Courtois
In an interesting twist of fate, Kepa was close to joining Real Madrid just eight months ago. Now his arrival at Chelsea could be the key to unlocking The Blues’ current number one, Thibaut Courtois’ move to the Bernabeu.
Courtois, who has missed the last two days of training with Chelsea despite having been due back on Monday morning, has remained in Belgium as he awaited the club to find his replacement. Now that that has happened, his transfer to Real Madrid could be tied up within the next few days, with the Spanish club expected to pay around 35 million euros for the Belgian international.