Chelsea ‘expected’ to make loss of £63m as player with 109 first team appearances edges closer to exit

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Chelsea could make a loss of £63m on a player who is no longer a part of Maurico Pochettino’s first team plans

One of Chelsea’s biggest signings from the Roman Abrahamovich era looks set to leave the club for a staggering loss of £63m less than what they originally initially paid for him.

Kepa Arrizabalaga arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2018 for a then club record fee of £71.6m. He arrived as a replacement for outgoing goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and the transfer remains the most expensive fee for a goalkeeper in the history of football.

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The ex-Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper signed a seven year contract with the Blues upon his arrival. At the time he had recently broken into the setup with the Spanish national team and he was expected to become the club’s first choice shot stopper for years to come.

Kepa struggled to achieve expectations in his first season in West London and hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the Carabao Cup final when he defied manager Maurizo Sarri and refused to be substituted for fellow goalkeeper Willy Caballero ahead of the penalty shootout.

The Spainard was briefly dropped from the team but was restored to the starting lineup for his team’s Europa League triumph in his debut campaign. Kepa remained the first choice goalkeeper the following season under Frank Lampard but was later dropped from the Chelsea team by manager Thomas Tuchel who instead put his fate in Edouard Mendy. The young goalkeeper was reduced to a place on the subs bench for the following two years as his team went on to win the Champions League in 2021.

Kepa made a return to first season plans last year in a turbulent campaign which saw the likes of Tuchel, Graham Potter and Lampard all take charge of Chelsea. But he has since been frozen out of the club’s plans by incoming coach Mauricio Pochettino who opted to loan the Spainard out to Real Madrid where he ironically once again replaces the injured Courtois.

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The 6ft2 goalkeeper has made 10 first team appearances since arriving in the Spanish capital and is reportedly a target for Real Madrid who want to make the deal permanent for £8.7m, according to Spanish outlet La Defensa.

The fee is significantly lower than what Chelsea paid for the player, but the club has previously shown a willingness to let go off high earners to finance deals for young and up and coming talents.

Over the summer big name players such as Kalidou Koulibaly, Mendy, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic were all sold to raise funds and further sales could follow as the club continues to rebuild from last season’s bottom half finish.

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