Chelsea set for record Kepa swoop as transfer deadline looms

Nabil Fekir

The Belgium star, who spent three seasons at Atletico Madrid from 2011 to 2014, wanted to move closer to his two children in the Spanish capital and had stayed away from training with Chelsea this week in a bid to force through the transfer.

Kepa made his worldwide debut for Spain in November, keeping a clean sheet in a friendly win over Costa Rica, and was named to the Spain squad for the World Cup in Russian Federation this summer, though he didn't play. "Real Madrid CF and Chelsea FC have agreed to the transfer of player Thibaut Courtois, who remains linked to the club for the next six seasons".

The deal for Kepa outstrips the £66.8m paid by Liverpool for Alisson last month.

On moving to Stamford Bridge, Kepa said: 'It's a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life.

Kepa flew from Bilbao to Madrid on Tuesday for talks with his representatives, and on Wednesday the money was officially deposited at La Liga's offices to terminate his contract with Athletic and pave the way for him to join Chelsea.

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

Kepa Arrizabalaga is eligible to play against Huddersfield on Saturday after completing his record move to Chelsea.

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

Chelsea are reportedly close to securing the signature of midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid.

Chelsea were unwilling to part ways with Courtois unless they had an immediate, suitable replacement lined up, but made the move to let their Belgian leave and get the Kepa deal over the line before the start of deadline day.

Los Blancos have signed Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea in a deal which will see Mateo Kovacic heading to London for a season-long loan.