Premier League • England

Deal announced, as big-money Chelsea star seals exit with full explanation due tomorrow

Joao Felix, Enzo Fernandez, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Kalidou Koulibaly of Chelsea

Chelsea have confirmed that goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga will spend the 2023-24 season on loan in La Liga with Real Madrid.

Kepa remains the most expensive goalkeeper of all time after Chelsea invested in him back in 2018. However, he struggled to justify his price tag, even though he won back the No.1 spot from Edouard Mendy last season.

Chelsea have signed Robert Sanchez from Brighton this summer and it was he who started in goal for them against Liverpool on Sunday as their Premier League season began.

Arrizabalaga was previously thought to have the faith of Mauricio Pochettino to remain the regular starter, until the opportunity with Real Madrid arose.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is usually Madrid’s No.1, but he has suffered a serious injury, which has forced ex-Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti to request cover.

Kepa has become the answer, returning to La Liga after his previous spell with Athletic Club.

In Madrid’s announcement of the move, it has been confirmed that Kepa will be presented to the media on Tuesday, which will give him the chance to explain his decision.

It is not expected that Los Blancos will have an option to buy Kepa, who will enter the final year of his Chelsea contract when his spell in Madrid ends.

Therefore, a big decision in terms of a potential sale or contract renewal will await when he returns to their disposal.

The 28-year-old has made 163 appearances across his Chelsea career, conceding 175 goals in that time and keeping 59 clean sheets.

Previously, he played 54 times for Athletic Club, conceding 66 times for them and overseeing 15 shutouts.

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