Athletic Bilbao say Kepa Arrizabalaga’s £71m buyout clause has been met

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s €80m (£71m) buyout clause has been met, Athletic Bilbao have announced, as the goalkeeper appears on the verge of a world record move to Chelsea.

The LaLiga club confirmed the 23-year-old’s release clause has been activated and his contract terminated, although there is no mention of Chelsea.

The fee is a world record for a goalkeeper, surpassing the £65m paid by Liverpool to Roma for Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker last month.

Chelsea have made Kepa their number one target to replace the want-away Thibaut Courtois who has stayed away from pre-season and is closing in on a move to Real Madrid.

A statement on Athletic’s website read: “Kepa Arrizabalaga has met the requirements for the valid unilateral termination of the work contract that linked him to Athletic Club. 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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