Chelsea Complete Signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga for World Record Goalkeeping Fee

??Chelsea have completed the signing of Athletic goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, breaking the world record fee paid for a goalkeeper by parting with a reported £72m.

The 23-year-old has signed a seven-year deal at Stamford Bridge, where he will take over between the sticks from Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois.

Arrizabalaga, who only signed a new seven-year deal with Athletic in January, becomes Maurizio Sarri’s second high profile signing since taking charge, following in the footsteps of midfielder Jorginho, who followed Sarri from ?Napoli for around £50m.

Upon completing his move to Chelsea, he said: ‘It’s a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life.

“So many things attracted me to the club, all the titles the club has won, the other players, the city, the English Premier League. It’s an accumulation of things, and I am very glad Chelsea has decided to trust me and to take me in as well.”

Chelsea Director Marina Granovskaia added: “Kepa is a talent we have admired for a long time and we are extremely excited about his arrival. He has already demonstrated fantastic quality and consistency and will be a big part of any success Chelsea have in the coming years.

“His long-term contract reflects the belief we have in him and we look ahead to the coming seasons with an enormous sense of optimism.”

Arrizabalaga, who made his full international debut for Spain against Costa Rica in a November friendly last year, will feel he has plenty to prove at Chelsea, as he attempts to live up to his remarkable price tag.

He had been set to join Real Madrid in January for a fee of just £17.5m – even passing a medical at the Santiago Bernabeu. The deal fell through at the last moment though, as then manager Zinedine Zidane pulled the plug before the deal could be completed.

Now, just six months later he moves to Stamford Bridge for over four times that amount – with Alisson Becker’s £66.8m move to ?Liverpool holding the world record fee for a goalkeeper for just under three weeks.


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