Date: 8th August 2018 at 7:00am
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Chelsea are evaluating their options in the market amidst the ongoing saga surrounding Thibaut Courtois, who has refused to return to training as he aims to push through a transfer to Real Madrid.

The Blues are only prepared to sanction a departure once a replacement has been signed, with Maurizio Sarri’s side linked with Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak and Stoke City’s Jack Butland, but another candidate is in their sights.

Spanish outlet AS states Chelsea are ready to activate the £71.5m release-clause of Athletic Bilbao’s highly-rated Spain international Kepa Arrizabalaga, who was a target for Real Madrid in January before he signed a new deal.

The 23-year-old is valued extremely highly by the Basque side and is tied to the club until 2025, showing his commitment, and persuading him to complete a move before Thursday’s transfer deadline will be an extremely tough task.

However, the prospect of being a starter for a Premier League side may be appealing as it would present Kepa with a strong opportunity of dethroning David De Gea in Spain’s pecking order.