As per a report from Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has personally identified Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper as his the ideal replacement for Real Madrid-bound Thibaut Courtois.
On the move
Blues’ shot-stopper Courtois is widely-expected to make the move to La Liga giants Real Madrid imminently, with updates in both Spain and England yesterday afternoon having suggested that the Belgian is pushing harder than ever before for a deal to be completed:
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) August 6, 2018
As such, the Chelsea board look set for a busy couple of days before the Premier League transfer window slams shut on Thursday, with the capital giants already scrambling in their search to secure a deal for a new goalkeeper.
Sky Sports reported yesterday that the Blues had identified Stoke City’s Jack Butland as their no.1 target to replace Courtois, but, as per huge updates stemming from the Spanish press this evening, another shot-stopper in fact looks all set to make his way to Stamford Bridge imminently.
The player in question is highly-regarded Athletic Bilbao star Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The 23-year-old once-capped La Roja international has long been viewed as one of the finest young talents in all of Spanish football, with many viewing the Bilbao youth product as the eventual heir, or even challenger to David De Gea between the posts for Spain’s national team.
And, as per reports from the reliable Alfredo Martinez and more this afternoon, Kepa is set to ply his club trade in the Premier League from next season on, amid widespread claims that Chelsea will pay the talented shot-stopper’s 80 million Euro release clause tomorrow:
El Chelsea pagará mañana los 80 m € por Kepa mañana en la LFP. Contado por @AlbertoPereiro
— Alfredo Martínez (@Alfremartinezz) August 7, 2018
While many have already called into question whether the decision to splash out such a hefty sum on a relatively-unproven young goalkeeper would be a wise move on the part of Chelsea, a report from Alfredo Pedulla a short time ago has since shed some light on the Blues’ move for Kepa.
Pedulla claims that the Spaniard’s signing is set to come at the direct request of Maurizio Sarri, who has been ‘studying’ film of Kepa’s abilities for the last 10 days.
The Italian tactician is said to have come to the conclusion that the Bilbao shot-stopper is ‘the perfect modern goalkeeper’, and, though Chelsea would have prepared not to pay Kepa’s full release clause, the board at Stamford Bridge are ready to showcase their backing of Sarri by splashing out the required sum to provide the club’s new boss with one of his key targets ahead of the new season.