Kepa's release clause deposited with LaLiga as move draws closer
The worst-kept secret in football in the last 24 hours appears to be on the verge of becoming official. Kepa "bought his freedom" from his Athletic contract on Wednesday morning as he closes in on a move to Chelsea.
The deal has progressed at a rapid rate since the Spain international's name was first mentioned as a potential replacement for Thibaut Courtois, with the Chelsea hierarchy of the opinion that the deal is worth the high initial outlay owing to Kepa's youth and potential to keep goal for the 'Blues' for a decade or more.
The Basque goalkeeper is expected to eventually succeed David de Gea as Spain's No.1 goalkeeper, with a move to the Premier League seen as the perfect opportunity to demonstrate his worth.
The payment of Kepa's release clause pushes Courtois further to the exit door at Stamford Bridge and thus closer to his move to Real Madrid as he looks to return to the city where his former partner lives with his young children.
Kepa's departure will leave Athletic flush with cash once again, allowing them to pursue another big signing after snatching defender Iñigo Martinez from rivals Real Sociedad back in January.
Iago Herrerín and Alex Remiro are likely to be allowed to battle it out to claim Kepa's starting spot for the Basque giants,