Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Chelsea, Real Madrid agree to Thibaut Courtois deal

Chelsea, Real Madrid agree to Thibaut Courtois deal

Chelsea appear to be poised to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga for a world-record fee for a goalkeeper after Athletic Bilbao announced his buyout clause had been met.

The Croatian has joined the Blues on a season-long loan deal as part of the deal that saw Thibaut Courtois join Real.

While not discussing the status of the transfer, Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri said that Kepa was "very young, but very, very good".

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The 26-year-old had entered the final year of his deal at the Premier League club and made no secret of his desire to move to the Spanish capital, the home of his children and where he previously spent three seasons with Atletico Madrid.

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The statement made no mention of Chelsea, but the move represents a world record for a goalkeeper, surpassing the £65m paid by Liverpool to Roma for Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker last month.

The Spain global, 23, has signed a seven-year contract at Stamford Bridge and joins the Blues for £71m - a world record fee for a keeper.

"Real Madrid and Chelsea have agreed the transfer of Thibaut Courtois, who will be linked to the club for the next six seasons", Madrid stated on their official website.

Courtois has always been linked with Madrid, while Kovacic has spent the summer forcing an exit from the Santiago Bernabeu.

Chelsea FC will kick off their new Premier League campaign when they take on Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

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Marina Granovskaia has endured a torrid summer with regards to recruitment, however, with the Blues having avoided losing Eden Hazard, replacing the outgoing Courtois and also secured Mateo Kovacic on a year-long loan, the summer is certainly looking brighter.

Arrizabalaga, who made his full global debut for Spain against Costa Rica in a November friendly a year ago, will feel he has plenty to prove at Chelsea, as he attempts to live up to his remarkable price tag.

Chelsea have wasted no time in showing off their latest addition, with Kovacic snapped around Stamford Bridge with the new home kit for 2018/19.

Courtois posted a lengthy message to Facebook just moments after his move to Real Madrid was confirmed on Wednesday night, thanking Blues fans for their backing throughout his seven-year association with the club.

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