FootballSport

Kepa Arrizabalaga ready to replace Thibaut Courtois

Chelsea is in advanced talks to sign Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to sources.

It is understood the 23-year-old Kepa Arrizabalaga – a Spain international with one cap – would cost the Blues £71.6m, which would be a world-record fee for a ‘keeper.

According to reports in Spain on Tuesday evening have gone as far as to say that Chelsea’s intentions are to fly the player to London on Wednesday and have him train on Thursday, with the hope he could make his debut in their season-opener against Huddersfield on Saturday as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois whose intention is to move to Real Madrid

Earlier on Tuesday, several reported that Kepa had emerged as a new target for the Blues as they look to find a replacement for Thibaut Courtois, who has told the club he wants to leave and join Real Madrid.

Chelsea also has Diego Rico and Stoke’s Jack Butland on their list – but Kepa has become their top priority over the course of the day.

Butland remains an attractive deal because of its much lower cost – around £30m – while sources have it that Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri’s top choice is Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid, but he would cost his £89m release clause.

Real Madrid has offered Kovacic on loan to softening Chelsea over Courtois move to Spain.

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