Chelsea don’t often do “unveilings” or separate press conferences for new signings, but I suppose when the player in question is the most expensive goalkeeper ever in the history of the professional game, a quarter hour spent with the horde is perhaps in order. (That transfer fee, which came up a couple times, is something that Kepa claims to not think about at all, nor does he think it adds to the pressure of being the Chelsea goalkeeper.)
So, Kepa, with the help of a translator who kept missing crucial details, answered a few questions. Most of the prompts and the answers were similar to those in his first interview with Chelsea TV, but he did get asked if he could provide any details about his transfer to Chelsea, and what he revealed made it clear that Chelsea had been working on the deal for a fair bit longer than the last 72 hours or so, during which the news broke.
Kepa says he's known of Chelsea's interest for several weeks & they made previous bids that were rebuffed by Athletic #cfc— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) August 9, 2018
In fact, Kepa says that he became aware of Chelsea’s interest just a few days after returning from his post-World Cup vacation on the 23rd of July, though it took the Blues a few days to clock on to the fact that Athletic don’t negotiate — you either pay the release clause or you don’t. So eventually Chelsea paid the clause, and the rest is, hopefully, most excellent history.
Kepa says he heard of Chelsea interest few days after returning from holiday on 23 July. Says Chelsea made offers to Athletic Bilbao but they wouldn’t sell unless release clause paid (€80m). Incredibly happy to sign for CFC. Price tag not pressure - doesn’t even think about it— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) August 9, 2018
So, perhaps not so much a panic buy, though it sounds like we certainly would’ve preferred to get it done at a lower fee. Oh well. If he proves as good as advertised, the extra millions paid now won’t matter one bit.
You can rewatch Arrizabalaga’s first press conference via Chelsea’s Facebook page.
KEPA INTRODUCED TO THE WORLD'S MEDIA AT STAMFORD BRIDGE!
We're live from Stamford Bridge with our new goalkeeper - Kepa Arrizabalaga!Posted by Chelsea Football Club on Thursday, August 9, 2018