Athletic Bilbao Keeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga’s Chelsea Move Draws Nearer

Pays €80 million Release Clause



Kepa Arrizabalaga anticipated move to Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao draws nearer, after the payment of his 80 million euro (£71m) release clause by his agents on Wednesday morning.

LaLiga rules stipulate that the player or his representatives must personally oversee the transfer of funds via the league body, with a number of lawyers and agents present in Madrid.

A statement by Athletic Bilbao announced that Kepa’s release clause has been triggered.

“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 statement read.

“The amount of the compensation established in the contract has been deposited.

“Athletic thanks the player for his contribution during the time he has remained in our club.”

General director of the Bahia Internacional agency, Margarita Garay, was joined by the lawyers Rodrigo García and Álvaro Reig de Laffer.

Valencia based legal company Ruiz-Huerta & Crespo were also part of the entourage, as were Enric Ripoll and Paolo Torchetti, who represented Chelsea.

With the payment complete, Kepa is set to travel to Chelsea to complete his move on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of an announcement the same day or early on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Spaniard is being brought in as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois.

Courtois has not returned to training and is being linked with Real Madrid.

The signing has until 18:00 CET on Thursday to be ratified and should allow the exit of Courtois to Real Madrid to also be completed.

The deal would be a world record for a goalkeeper, surpassing the fee, believed to be up to £66.8m that Liverpool paid for Alisson in July.