Kepa Arrizabalaga: Athletic Bilbao keeper pays £71m release clause before Chelsea move

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga
Kepa Arrizabalaga has one international cap for Spain

Chelsea target Kepa Arrizabalaga has paid his release clause of £71m to La Liga, which allows him to leave Athletic Bilbao and clears the way for a transfer to Stamford Bridge.

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

Spaniard Kepa, 23, is being brought in as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois.

The Belgium international is set to join Real Madrid after Chelsea announced they had agreed a deal.

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic, 24, will join Chelsea on a season-long loan as part of that deal.

Kepa buys his way out

In Spain, a player must buy himself out of his contract. This is usually done by depositing the amount of the buyout clause with La Liga - Spain's equivalent of the Premier League - to release the player from his contract. The league then passes the money to the selling club.

Kepa is Spain's number two behind Manchester United's David de Gea and has one international cap.

He has spent the past two seasons in Bilbao's first team, making 53 La Liga appearances.

In January, he signed a new long-term contract with Bilbao until 2025, amid interest from Real Madrid.

Kepa is the second big-name player to leave Bilbao this year, after Manchester City signed French defender Aymeric Laporte for £57m in January.

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