As Thibaut Courtois continues his strike/training no-show/hissy-fit at Chelsea, our hunt for his substitute might soon be over. According to a report by Bilbao newspaper El Correo, the Blues have begun negotiations with Athletic goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
El mercado de fichajes cierra en Inglaterra el jueves a la 19.00 horas española. https://t.co/Jk53Cm0w4u— El Correo (@elcorreo_com) August 7, 2018
The local news outlet states that Chelsea have informed Kepa that they would like to sign him, and are willing to pay the the Basque goalkeeper’s €80 million release clause.
Thus, it’s all in Kepa’s hands now — but it’s far from over. It’s worth remembering that Real Madrid were interested in signing him last January, when the Basque keeper’s release clause was a meagre €20 million. However, he refused to wait for them until this summer, and signed an extension with Athletic that greatly improved his terms (and release fee) instead.
The report also goes on to talk about how Chelsea contacted Atlético Madrid’s Jan Oblak, but the Slovenian goalkeeper was not interested in a move to the Blues. The Sky Sports’ report that Butland is the cheapest option available gets a mention as well, as they highlight how he is the option with “the least quality”. And considering our penchant for austerity, this Butland transfer could be a move more within our self-imposed constraints.
Sky Sources: Chelsea are interested in Athletic Bilbao keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga but still favour a deal for Jack Butland, who would cost £30m compared to £70m for the Spanish keeper— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 7, 2018
As it’s evident from all the noise surrounding the club and its transfers at the moment, anything could happen. Depending on how we go on about our business in the next 48 hours, this can be the one of those brilliant windows we pull off every now and then — or just another one to pile onto our collection of miseries.