Thibaut Courtois To Join Real Madrid After Chelsea Agrees Transfer

Chelsea's big business had been completed on Wednesday night as Kepa Arrizabalaga had been signed from Athletic Bilbao to replace Courtois, with the fee of £72.1m a world record for a goalkeeper.

Chelsea's new manager Maurizio Sarri predicted after the Lyon fixture that he expects a flurry of activity from his club, who are also in talks to secure Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid on loan.

"I'm coming into a club that has just won three Champions Leagues in a row".

"I think we all know that, when you're a kid, there's always a club that really makes you sit up and take notice".

The Times reports that Chelsea failed to add an option-to-buy clause in the contract, which is freakish because it makes it seem like the London club is content to allow one of world's most promising midfield players to develop with them, only to then let him return to his parent club a more complete player.

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His form caught Real Madrid's attention but mounting transfer speculation culminated in him signing a seven-and-a-half-year contract extension at San Mames in January.

The 26-year-old only had a year left on his deal and has been absent from training this week as he looked to push through a move before the transfer window ended for the Blues on Thursday.

"He's a great keeper with excellent reflexes but it's not for me to say what his strong points are", Courtois said.

A move to Real Madrid will mean a return to Spanish football for Courtois, who played for Atletico Madrid before becoming Chelsea's number 1. We've got a great squad and I hope I can help the team to keep winning things. The Belgium goalkeeper was the victor of the Golden Glove award at the Russian Federation 2018 Fifa World Cup.

"In terms of the price, it's something I don't think about", Kepa said via a translator. I fulfilled a childhood dream playing in the Premier League. "This is the best club in the world", he said. "My goal was to come to Real Madrid, everyone knew that".

  • Lawrence Cooper