Maurizio Sarri has expressed his admiration for Kepa Arrizabalaga but has refused to confirm if Chelsea are attempting to sign the Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois.
Courtois has failed to return for pre-season training amid interest from Real Madrid, and the Belgium international was not in the squad for the International Champions Cup win over Lyon on Tuesday night.
0:38 Maurizio Sarri is unsure if Thibaut Courtois will remain a Chelsea player
Sky sources understand Chelsea are in advanced talks to sign Kepa for a world-record fee of £71.6m and Sarri admits he is an admirer of the Spain international.
“I saw him one year ago,” said Sarri. “My first impression was that he is a very good goalkeeper, very young, but very, very good.”
When asked if Courtois was likely to remain at Stamford Bridge this season, Sarri said: “I don’t know but I think I am here just to talk about this match and the first question was about Courtois.
“I don’t know at this moment. I want to speak with the club and then together we will decide about it.”
Sarri added: “If I don’t know anything about Courtois then I don’t know anything about Kepa of course!”
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