Kepa Arrizabalaga pays €80m release clause ahead of Chelsea move

Kepa Arrizabalaga pays €80m release clause ahead of Chelsea move

Maurizio Sarri will play the Croatia global as part of a midfield three alongside Jorginho and N'Golo Kante.

The Blues hope to have the deal wrapped up and announced later on Wednesday.

Kepa Arrizabalaga will fly immediately to London once Chelsea trigger his £71million release clause, reports say.

Athletic do not negotiate when it comes to selling their top stars because they limit themselves to only signing Basque players, meaning the only way Chelsea could bring Kepa to Stamford Bridge was by activating his buyout clause.

He will eclipse the previous world record of £65m paid by Liverpool for Alisson a few weeks ago.

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A statement on Athletic's official website read: "On Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 1202 hours (CET), the Professional Football League confirmed to us that the player, Kepa Arrizabalaga, has met the requirements for the valid unilateral termination of the work contract that linked him to Athletic Club".

The Athletic Bilbao stopper is set to replace Real Madrid-bound Thibaut Courtois and will become Chelsea's record signing.

Kepa is expected to train with his new Chelsea teammates for the first time on Thursday and could even make his debut in the club's opening Premier League fixture against Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Courtois spent three years on loan at Atletico Madrid from Chelsea, before becoming the Blues' number one in 2014-15.

Sarri watched his side play their final pre-season game against Lyon on Tuesday night and spoke about his admiration for Kepa after the match.

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