A surrender against Manchester City in the Community Shield fixture on Sunday evening indicated that a lot of work still needs to be done to implement ‘Sarriball’ but the Blues might just end up as one of the biggest spenders after successfully tying down 23-year-old Spanish custodian Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao paying a world record fee for a goalkeeper.
If reports are believed to be true, Chelsea have triggered the £71m buyout clause for Spain international in order to replace Thibaut Courtois who is not attending training sessions and desperate to secure a potential move to Champions League winners Real Madrid. The Belgian ‘number 1′ has rejected a contract extension and the Blues can’t risk losing him for free next summer with less than a year remaining in his current deal at Stamford Bridge to run out.
Kepa was included in Spain’s traveling squad to Russia as their third-choice custodian behind David De Gea and Pepe Reina for the World Cup event. The home-grown prodigy of the famous Basque Country outfit has made 53 La Liga appearances over past two seasons and caught the eyes of several European heavyweights due to some majestic work between the sticks. Although the Blues primarily identified Stoke City’s Jack Butland as Courtois’ successor, his erroneous outings in recent past seem to have forced the Blues to Switch sights elsewhere and making Kepa world’s most expensive goalkeeper of all time (beating Liverpool’s £66.8m investment on Alisson Becker of AS Roma last month) sends a strong statement of intent to fellow Premier League counterparts despite missing out a Champions League berth last term.
Los Blancos are reportedly ready to let wantaway midfield star Mateo Kovacic leave for Chelsea (on loan) to smoothen Courtois talks and the Croatian will further strengthen the Blues in the middle of the park alongside Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas who are viewed as preferred midfield options over underwhelming Danny Drinkwater, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Ross Barkley. Tomorrow’s deadline will see a lot of transfer drama as the climax is becoming intriguing with every passing hour.