Chelsea sign goalkeeper Kepa after Courtois joins Madrid

August 09, 2018
Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

LONDON (AP):

Chelsea have signed Athletic Bilbao goal-keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for a record fee after selling Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid.

Chelsea announced the signing yesterday after paying Kepa's €80-million (US$92.6 million) buyout clause the biggest fee ever for a goalkeeper.

The transfer was completed shortly after Courtois' move to Madrid was also confirmed in a deal that will see midfielder Mateo Kovacic move to the London club on a season-long loan.

Kepa is considered Spain's goalkeeper of the future and was a reserve at the World Cup in Russia. The fee paid for him tops the €72.5 million Liverpool gave Roma for Alisson earlier this summer.

"Kepa is a talent we have admired for a long time and we are extremely excited about his arrival," Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said in a statement.

The London club had to move fast to bring in a new No. 1 after Courtois made it clear this week that he wanted a transfer to Madrid. The Belgian had refused to turn up for training in recent days, and Chelsea said in a statement earlier on Wednesday that two clubs "have agreed terms for the permanent transfer of Thibaut Courtois subject to the agreement of personal terms and passing a medical. Subject to the completion of the deal, Mateo Kovacic will join the Blues on a season-long loan."

Real Madrid confirmed Courtois will undergo a medical today before signing a six-year deal.

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