MADRID: Athletic Bilbao said on Wednesday that Kepa Arrizabalaga has paid his 80-million-euro ($93 million) buyout clause, paving the way for the Spain international to join Chelsea as the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.
“At 12:02 p.m. on Wednesday, August 8, La Liga informed our club that the player Kepa Arrizabalaga had filled the conditions to unilaterally break his contract tying him to Athletic Club,” the Spanish club said in a statement.
The 23-year-old is expected to replace Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge for a fee that would surpass the 72.5 million euros Liverpool paid Roma for Brazilian Alisson last month.
Belgium number one Courtois has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid and has not returned to Chelsea training following the World Cup.
Kepa has played 53 times in La Liga for Bilbao over the last two seasons, and made his international debut in a 5-0 friendly win over Costa Rica in November 2017.
He was also in the Spain squad for the recent World Cup in Russia as back-up to David De Gea, but did not see any playing time.