The uncertainty in Chelsea’s goalkeeping department ahead of the 2018/19 football season has been sorted out as the Blues have signed Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao.
Kepa arrives in a record deal from the Basque club worth £71 million, making him the current most expensive goalkeeper in football presently.
The Spanish international will replace Belgium international Thibaut Courtois who has joined Real Madrid.
“It’s a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life,” Kepa told the club’s official 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.”
Chelsea Director Marina Granovskaia also spoke on the Blues’ latest addition:
“Kepa is a talent we have admired for a long time and we are extremely excited about his arrival. He has already demonstrated fantastic quality and consistency and will be a big part of any success Chelsea have in the coming years. His long-term contract reflects the belief we have in him and we look ahead to the coming seasons with an enormous sense of optimism.”
The club has made it clear that they would only allow Courtois to leave Stamford Bridge this summer if they found a suitable replacement for the Belgian.
“Chelsea and Real Madrid have tonight agreed terms for the permanent transfer of Thibaut Courtois subject to the agreement of personal terms and passing a medical,” a statement from Chelsea read.
“Subject to the completion of the deal Mateo Kovacic will join the Blues on a season-long loan.”