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Chelsea is on the verge of announcing the £71.8million arrival of Athletic goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after depositing his release clause on Wednesday morning.


The young Basque shot-stopper will become Chelsea’s record signing and the most expensive goalkeeper ever, eclipsing the previous world record of £65m paid by Liverpool for Alisson just a few weeks ago.


The west London club have made a late dash to sign a new keeper after Thibaut Courtois went AWOL from training, with the Belgian looking to force through a move to Real Madrid.




Having missed out on Alisson, Chelsea quickly identified Kepa as the ideal replacement for Courtois and have decided to pay his release clause in full.



According to Spanish newspaper Marca, lawyers representing Kepa’s agency, Bahia Internacional, turned up at the offices of La Liga in Madrid and officially paid his termination clause at 8.22am BST.



Having flown into Madrid on Tuesday evening, Kepa is now jetting in to London to undergo a medical and sign his new contract with Chelsea.



The Blues hope to have the deal wrapped up and announced later today, while Real – who have already agreed a fee and personal terms with Courtois – will then announce the Belgian’s return to Madrid.



Kepa, 23, is considered one of the brightest young goalkeeping talents in the world and was part of Spain’s squad at the World Cup in Russia.


Incredibly, Chelsea could have signed Kepa for just £18m back in January, which was his old release clause before he signed a new five-year contract.


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