Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Blues Set to Break World Record for Courtois Replacement

Jack Butland GETTY Jack Butland could join Chelsea from Stoke as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois
Shannon Reynolds | 09 August, 2018, 08:57

The Belgium worldwide has been yearning to return to Madrid to be close with his children and the Blues have granted him the wish after agreeing upon a club-record fee to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao.

Kepa's arrival at Stamford Bridge came shortly after Chelsea had agreed to sell Belgian global 'keeper Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid for a reported fee of €35 million.

The Basque club confirmed the 23-year-old's release clause has been activated and his contract terminated, although there is no mention of Chelsea.

There is one major hiccup in the deal though, as the report claims that Chelsea can not offer Champions League football this season.

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

With Thibaut Courtois seemingly on his way out of Stamford Bridge ahead of his move to Spanish giants Real Madrid, Chelsea have taken their first steps towards securing his replacement.

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Real Madrid announced in its statement Courtois will sign a six-year contract, and the club will present him to its fans Thursday at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

"So many things attracted me to the club, all the titles the club has won, the other players, the city, the English Premier League".

They have replaced a star goalkeeper, victor of the Golden Glove award at the World Cup, with a man who is third down the pecking order for the Spanish national team, for a fee that is ridiculous.

Kepa nearly joined Madrid himself in January only for the deal to fall through with his price at just £17.5m.

Kepa is Spain's number two behind Manchester United's David de Gea.

He becomes the third acquisition of a chaotic summer transfer window for Chelsea, following the £50m capture of Jorginho from Napoli and the signing of third-choice goalkeeper Robert Green on a free transfer. As a effect, Kepa was rewarded with a new £60,000-a-week contract at Athletic but saw his buyout clause rise to £72m.

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