London: Chelsea have signed Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for a world record Rs 636.41 crore (80 million-euro) fee from Athletic Bilbao, the Premier League club has said. With Thibaut Courtois joining Real Madrid after 35 million euros were paid for a 6-year deal, Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea signed 23-year-old Arrizabalaga as an instant replacement for the Belgium international.
Arrizabalaga becomes the most expensive goalkeeper in football history, ahead of Liverpool’s Alisson, who moved from AS Roma for 75 million euros earlier in the transfer window. Athletic confirmed earlier on Wednesday that Arrizabalaga’s representatives deposited his buy-out clause at La Liga’s offices.
Also, prolific Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic has joined Chelsea on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid as part of the Courtois deal. The 24-year-old Kovacic was part of the Croatia team that reached last month’s World Cup final but was used almost exclusively as a substitute at Real last season.
￼”I would like is to win more titles for the club. I would like to be remembered at this club, when I leave years down the line, as a goalkeeper that has helped the club win a lot of titles and gone down in history.” — Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea goalkeeper
Maguire not joining United
Leicester City manager Claude Puel denied Manchester United a deadline day transfer for central defender Harry Maguire and praised the England international’s attitude amid the speculation over his future. “I am happy to keep Harry. He is our best player. I am a football manager and I want to keep our best players for the squad and for our season,” said Puel.
Godin’s no to Red Devils
Diego Godin has turned down the chance to join Manchester United despite the club offering a lucrative two-year contract for the 32-year-old. United had offered to pay his release clause and £150,000 a week but is settled in Madrid. Though the Uruguay international was flattered by United’s interest he has opted to stay at Atletico.
2017 was when Kepa made his senior debut for Spain.
54 senior games for Athletic Bilbao.
11 cleansheets for him in La Liga since his debut – more than Iago Herrein (10), Navas (9) and Kiko Casilla (7).
10 Real Madrid shots he faced last season and saved them all.
(With inputs from Agencies)