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Chelsea close on Kepa Arrizabalaga deal as Athletic Bilbao announce release clause has been met

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Chelsea close on Kepa Arrizabalaga deal as Athletic Bilbao announce release clause has been met

Chelsea are closing on a deal to sign Kepa
Chelsea are closing on a deal to sign Kepa

Athletic Bilbao have announced Kepa Arrizabalaga’s £71m buyout clause has been met – bringing his move to Chelsea a step closer.

In a statement on their website, Athletic confirmed Arrizabalaga’s release clause had been activated and his contract terminated – although there was no mention of Chelsea.

The 23-year-old is now expected to travel to London to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms ahead of a switch to Stamford Bridge.

“The Professional Football League has certified to our entity 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.

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“The aforementioned certification indicates that the player has expressed his desire to terminate and unilaterally resolve the relationship that joined him since the 2004/05 season and that 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.”

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Chelsea are set to sanction Thibaut Courtois’ move to Real Madrid once they have completed a deal to sign Kepa.

Sky sources in Belgium understand Real are expecting Courtois to arrive in Madrid on Thursday ahead of completing his switch to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Thibaut Courtois is hoping to conclude a deal to Real Madrid before Thursday's 5pm deadline
Thibaut Courtois is hoping to conclude a deal to Real Madrid before Thursday’s 5pm deadline

Courtois is currently in Belgium awaiting permission from Chelsea to fly to Madrid to undergo a medical.

Real have offered to loan midfielder Mateo Kovacic and pay £35m for the Belgium goalkeeper.

The 26-year-old is keen to move back to Madrid, where he spent three years with Atletico, due to family reasons.

Courtois, who has less than year remaining on his current contract at Chelsea, did not report back for training on Monday after being given extra time off following the World Cup.

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