Kepa Closes on Chelsea Switch After Meeting Athletic Clause

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Athletic Bilbao have confirmed Kepa Arrizabalaga has met his €80million release clause, clearing the way for a record-breaking transfer to Chelsea.

The Spain international's representatives Margarita Garay of the Bahia Internacional agency,  along with the player's lawyers, travelled to LaLiga offices in Valencia to pay his €80million (£71m/$92m) release clause.

Athletic confirmed that the release clause had been paid on Wednesday, issuing a statement that read: "The player Kepa Arrizabalaga has met the requirements for the valid unilateral termination of the contract that linked him to Athletic Club.

 

"The aforementioned certification indicates that the player has expressed his desire to terminate and unilaterally resolve the relationship that had joined him with the club since the 2004-05 season and that the amount of the compensation established in the contract has been deposited.

"Athletic thanks the player for his contribution during the time he has remained with our club."

The Kepa deal will break the club's previous transfer record, set last season when the Blues signed Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid in an initial £58m ($75m) deal, potentially rising to £70m ($90m).

The figure, which was written into the seven-and-a-half-year contract extension Kepa signed with Athletic in January, will also make the 23-year-old the most expensive goalkeeper in football history – surpassing the £65m Liverpool paid Roma for Alisson earlier this transfer window.

Kepa's expected arrival in London ahead of Thursday's Premier League deadline is set to pave the way for Thibaut Courtois to complete his long-mooted move to Real Madrid, with the Belgian having been absent from training as he looked to force through a switch to Santiago Bernabeu.