Chelsea break bank for Kepa | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 10, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 10, 2018

Chelsea break bank for Kepa

Courtois completes 'dream' move to Real Madrid

Spain's Kepa Arrizabalaga became the most expensive goalkeeper in history on Wednesday after Chelsea confirmed his 80 million euro move from Athletic Bilbao.

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

The 23-year-old has signed a seven-year contract with the English giants.

"It's a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life," Kepa told Chelsea's website. "So many things attracted me to the club, all the titles the club has won, the other players, the city, the English Premier League. It's an accumulation of things, and I am very glad Chelsea has decided to trust me and to take me in as well."

Chelsea were forced to look for a replacement for Courtois ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline for Premier League clubs after he failed to report back to training following his fine World Cup performances on Monday.

Courtois had just one year left on his contract and made clear his desire to return to Madrid, where he spent three seasons on loan with Atletico, to be closer to his two children.

"Today is a dream come true for me, you can't imagine how happy I am," Courtois said yesterday. "Coming to the best club in the world is a responsibility and an honour. I'd like to thank Real for the efforts they've made, and all the people who contributed to bringing me here.

“I want to show I can match the expectations this badge entails."

Just weeks after Liverpool broke the record transfer fee for a goalkeeper in a deal worth 72.5 million euros for Brazilian international Alisson Becker, the inexperienced Kepa, 23, now inherits the title of the world's most expensive goalkeeper.

And Chelsea quickly filled his vacancy by paying 80 million euros for Kepa Arrizabalaga, the most money ever dished out for a goalkeeper. PHOTO: AFP/COLLECTED

BLUES GET KOVACIC FOR A YEAR

Although no fee was officially revealed for Courtoise, Spanish media report that Real paid 35 millions euros. As part of that deal, Real also gave Croatian midfielder Matteo Kovacic to Chelsea on a season-long loan deal from Real.

"I am really happy and excited to be here at Chelsea. It is an amazing feeling," Kovacic said on Chelsea's website.

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