Athletic Club Bilbao have confirmed the €80m (£71m) release clause of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has been deposited with La Liga.
It is widely-expected the 23-year-old will sign a long-term contract at Chelsea, just six months after signing a new seven-year deal at San Mames, where his release clause was hiked from €20m to €80m.
In a statement on Wednesday morning, Athletic Club said the goalkeeper, whom they thanked, ‘had expressed his desire to terminate’ his contract with the club while saying his departure was ‘unwanted’.
Diario AS led reports the shot-stopper was due to arrive in Madrid this week before flying to London to confirm his move to the FA Cup winners.
Such a move has been fuelled by the imminent exit of Thibaut Courtois, who looks set to sign for Real Madrid in a €35m deal.
Kepa joined the Basque club aged 10 and made 30 La Liga appearances last season as he continued to establish himself as the club’s number one.
“I saw him one year ago [when I was] at Naples, and my first impression was he was a very good goalkeeper,” said Sarri after Chelsea’s goalless draw with Lyon on Tuesday night.
“Very young, but very, very good.”
Kepa has won just one international cap for Spain, where he is understudy for David De Gea.