Sarri: I don’t know anything about Chelsea buying Kepa

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri claims he knows nothing about the club reportedly being ready to buy Kepa Arrizabalaga for a world-record fee.

The Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper is said to be close to joining the Premier League side after they agreed to pay Athletic his €80million release clause.

That would make Kepa the world’s most expensive shot-stopper, eclipsing Alisson after the Brazil international’s move from Roma to Liverpool last month.

Kepa’s arrival would likely free up Thibaut Courtois to join Real Madrid, the Belgian having entered the last year of his Chelsea contract, while making no secret of his desire to return to the Spanish capital, where he played on loan for Atletico Madrid from the Blues between 2011 and 2014.

But speaking at a news conference after former England goalkeeper Rob Green starred in a penalty shoot-out win against Lyon on Tuesday, Sarri gave no clues as to the future of Courtois or Kepa.

“I don’t know in this moment,” Sarri told reporters of Courtois’ reported absence from training this week.

“I want to speak with my club and then we will decide about it. I am here to talk about this match.

“If I don’t know anything about Courtois, I don’t know anything about Kepa, of course!

“I saw him one year ago. My first impression was that he is a very good goalkeeper, very young, but very, very good.”

Hazard has also been linked with Madrid, as a potential replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo following the Portugal captain’s €112m move to Serie A champions Juventus.

But although the Belgium international has hinted regularly he would be interested in a switch to Spain, Sarri suggested Hazard – who scored the winning penalty against Lyon – will stay at Stamford Bridge.

“I don’t see this problem in this moment,” Sarri said. “I have spoken with Eden two or three times in the last two days.

“He has spoken of everything. I think this problem, the Hazard problem, is not present now.”

Hazard wore the captain’s armband when he came off the bench but Sarri is not ready to decide whether the winger should be named skipper on a regular basis.

“I don’t know. We have to discuss about it. We want to speak with all the players,” the former Napoli coach added.

“I want to speak with my staff and my club, and at the end, I will decide. But today is my first day with all the players. I think I have to decide when I know better every player.”

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