Chelsea have shattered the transfer record for goalkeeper by signing Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Club for an astonishing fee of 72 million pounds. His fee surpasses the amount shelled out by Liverpool for Alisson in July.
Kepa's arrival also allowed a major transfer deal between Chelsea and Real Madrid to take place. The English club allowed Thibaut Courtois to sign for Real for 31 million pounds, and in exchange, got the services of Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic on loan.
The transfer saga between the English and the Spanish club have been ongoing since the start of the transfer window. Real have been huge admirer of Courtois since past many years, and earmarked him as one of the major targets. On the other hand, Kovacic desperately wanted to leave the UEFA Champions League winners, and Chelsea were an admirer of the Croatian.
But the deal wasn't going through for most parts of the window, given Chelsea's failure to land a goalkeeper to replace Courtois. Though, with the signing of Kepa, both the clubs immediately went ahead with the deal.
Kepa, 23, made his name as one of the brightest goalkeepers in the world following his brilliant performances for Atheltic Club over the past two years. The Spaniard was the first-choice shot-stopper for his club, and his form even earned him a place in Spain's World Cup 2018 squad.
Courtois had joined Chelsea in 2011, but spent his first three season on loan at Atletico Madrod. It was his performances in these three seasons which put him amongst the best in the business. The Belgian returned to London in 2014, and wrestled the No.1 jersey from Petr Cech. Though, he was unsettled at Chelsea since the past couple of years, and had been touted for a return to Spain.
The final jigsaw of this whole transfer sees Kovacic leave Real. The Croatian failed to nail down a regular spot in the playing XI ever since his transfer to the Spanish club from Inter Milan.