Transfer Talk: Chelsea agree Mateo Kovacic loan, Tiemoue Bakayoko set to depart
The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow along with our daily blog throughout the summer.
TOP STORY: Chelsea, Madrid agree Kovacic, Courtois deals
The Thibaut Courtois saga is over. Well, almost anyway.
Real Madrid and Chelsea announced on Wednesday evening that the Belgian goalkeeper will join Los Blancos on a six-year contract subject to a medical on Thursday, after which he will be presented at the Santiago Bernabeu.
At the same time, the clubs also confirmed that Mateo Kovacic will swap the Spanish capital for the English one on a season-long loan as soon as Courtois' deal was completed.
The London Evening Standard reported on Wednesday morning that the loan would include an option to buy, while reports coming out of Spain insisted that no such clause would be a part of the agreement. Neither club's announcements addressed the matter.
After serving as fourth choice behind Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro in Madrid's three-man midfield, Kovacic agitated for a move away from the Bernabeu, walking out of training on Tuesday. Courtois, meanwhile, never reported to Chelsea training following his holiday after Belgium's third-place finish at the World Cup.
The Croatia international midfielder's arrival in West London significantly limits opportunities for Tiemoue Bakayoko, who's closing in on a season-long loan of his own, to AC Milan, with an option to purchase at fee reported to be between €30m and €35m.
23.15 BST: That's going to bring Wednesday's live edition of Transfer Talk to a close! Phew! But fret not, we'll be back in a few short hours with all the latest rumours pulled from Thursday's back pages, ahead of tomorrow's close of the Premier League transfer window at noon ET/17.00 BST!
23.09 BST: ESPN FC contributor Peter O'Rourke reports that Fulham have a deal to take Sevilla's highly rated 24-year-old goalkeeper Sergio Rico on loan.
22.56 BST: The Portland Timbers are set to reacquire U.S. international defender Jorge Villafana from Liga MX side Santos Laguna, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC.
22.43 BST: Southampton are prepared to reject Watford's advances as the Hornets seek to take James Ward-Prowse on loan, according to Sky Sports.
22.30 BST: The Chicago Fire are in discussions with Mexico international Hector Moreno, The Athletic writes, but they face a race against time. The MLS club will need to agree personal terms with the 30-year-old centre-back, and strike a deal with Real Sociedad for his transfer, all before Major League Soccer's secondary transfer window closes at 12:59 a.m. ET -- just seven hours to go!
22.17 BST: It's a DONE DEAL! Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga, who becomes the most expensive goalkeeper in the world after the club paid Athletic Bilbao his €80m release clause. Read the full story.
22.04 BST: While Napoli's pursuit of Mexico No. 1 Guillermo Ocho has been well documented, but Calciomercato writes that the Italian club are put off by the €3.5m they'd have to pay Standard Liege, and are exploring Arsenal backup David Ospina as a Plan B.
21.51 BST: Jerome Boateng has rejected Manchester United's advances and agreed personal terms with Paris Saint-Germain, according to Le Parisien, with Bayern Munich expected to allow the 29-year-old centre-back to leave for €45m.
21.38 BST: ESPN FC contributor Peter O'Rourke reports that Leicester have completed the €20m signing of 22-year-old centre-back Caglar Soyuncu from Freiburg on a five-year deal.
21.26 BST: More U.S. international news as Hibernian have announced that 22-year-old midfielder Emerson Hyndman has joined on a six-month loan from Bournemouth.
21.14 BST: D.C. United have struck a deal to re-sign Bill Hamid on loan, sources confirmed to ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle on Wednesday, less than a year after the goalkeeper left to sign for Danish side Midtjylland.
21.02 BST: Tottenham are in discussions with Schalke over a proposed loan deal that would take Danny Rose to the Bundesliga, according to Sky Sports.
20.50 BST: While West Ham, Southampton and Cardiff were all interested in taking Tammy Abraham on a season-long loan, the Mirror reports that the twice-capped England international is set to remain at Chelsea this season.
20.38 BST: Manchester United's hopes of signing a centre-back before the transfer deadline rest on clubs and agents lowering their demands, sources have told ESPN FC.
20.20 BST: We're nearly there! Thibaut Courtois will join Real Madrid on a permanent basis subject to a medical on Thursday, and Mateo Kovacic will move from the Bernabeu to Chelsea on a season-long loan as soon as Courtois' deal is completed.
We have tonight agreed terms with Real Madrid for the transfer of Thibaut Courtois, subject to the agreement of personal terms and a medical. As part of the deal, Mateo Kovacic will join Chelsea on a season-long loan.https://t.co/WXhHzEdf6D— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 8, 2018
20.01 BST: The Washington Post's Steven Goff is reporting that U.S. international goalkeeper Bill Hamid is returning to D.C. United on an 18-month loan from FC Midtjylland, eight months after he left the MLS club for Denmark.
Done deal. Arriving tomorrow.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) August 8, 2018
19.34 BST: Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko is edging closer to a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers, sources have told ESPN FC.
19.07 BST: Earlier in the day we brought you news that Leicester were kicking the tires on the possibility of taking Danny Drinkwater back to the King Power just 12 months after flogging him to Chelsea. An update comes courtesy of the Mirror, who reports that as the West London club look to find a buyer for the midfielder, West Ham and Everton are also interested.
18.40 BST: While Everton are working to bring Barcelona centre-back Yerry Mina to Goodison Park, the Mail writes that the Toffees are interested in convincing Andre Gomes to join his teammate in swapping Catalonia for Merseyside.
18.13 BST: Already on the verge of adding Tiemoue Bakayoko on loan, AC Milan have now turned their sights on Paris Saint-Germain attacker Julian Draxler, Corriere dello Sport reports. PSG's asking price could be a stumbling block, however the report states that a loan deal with an option to buy could help soften the blow for the Rossoneri.
17.46 BST: It's a DONE DEAL! The Seattle Sounders have signed Australian international full-back Brad Smith on loan from Bournemouth, the MLS club confirmed on Wednesday, ahead of the league's transfer window closing at 12:59 a.m. ET tomorrow. Read the full story.
17.19 BST: Jack Grealish is said to be "disappointed and disillusioned" after Aston Villa rejected Tottenham's £25m bid for the player, according to Sky Sports, with the Villans reportedly telling the 22-year-old earlier this summer he'd be allowed to leave the club.
16.52 BST: Sport journalist Andrew Gaffney has cited Eldesmarque as reporting that Valencia have moved ahead of Sevilla and have all but sealed the deal to take Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi on loan in 2018-19. The Batsman joining the bats would be quite fitting.
16.25 BST -- DONE DEAL: Middlesbrough have signed West Ham striker Jordan Hugill on a season-long loan deal.
16.15 BST: It appears likely that Liverpool striker Danny Ings
16.00 BST: Barcelona vice president Jordi Mestre sat down with ESPN FC to mull over the club's tour of the United States and this summer's activity in the transfer market. Read what he had to say here.
15.45 BST: Another hour, another player linked with Wolves. This time it's Anderlecht's Leander Dendoncker with the Mirror reporting that Wolves "are hoping to push through a deadline day move" and would pay around £12 million.
15.30 BST -- DONE DEAL: Watford goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann has moved to Scotland for the season, joining Kilmarnock on loan.
15.15 BST: Brighton are set to see off competition from both West Ham and Burnley to sign Le Havre defender Harold Moukoudi, sources have told ESPN FC.
15.00 BST: Crystal Palace's under-23s coach Richard Shaw has indicated that some members of his squad could go out on loan in order to gain first-team experience, Football London reports.
14.45 BST -- DONE DEAL: Rangers midfielder Greg Docherty, a Scotland under-21 international, has moved to League One side Shrewsbury on a season-long loan.
14.30 BST: Aston Villa could move for Watford's Isaac Success as manager Steve Bruce looks to beef up his attacking options.
14.15 BST -- DONE DEAL: Bordeaux have signed midfielder Toma Basic from Hajduk Split, with the midfielder agreeing a deal that will keep him at the club until 2022.
🖊 Un nouveau milieu de terrain aux Girondins.— FC Girondins de Bordeaux (@girondins) August 8, 2018
Un espoir croate qui s'engage pour 4 ans.
Basic 🇭🇷😀👍 pic.twitter.com/Adw4W6b6Ma
14.00 BST: West Bromwich Albion have turned down an offer from Watford to take defender Craig Dawson on loan, according to Sky Sports.
13.45 BST: Aston Villa are close to signing midfielder John McGinn from Scottish club Hibernian after agreeing a fee, the BBC reports.
13.30 BST: Leicester could re-sign midfielder Danny Drinkwater from Chelsea only a year after he left them to move to Stamford Bridge for £35 million, the Independent reports.
13.15 BST: Wolves continue their preparations for life back in the Premier League apace: the Mail reports that they are in negotiations over a £16 million move for Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko.
13.00 BST: Sky Sports reports that Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic will have medical at Chelsea before arriving at Stamford Bridge on a season-long loan deal.
12.50 BST -- DONE DEAL: Defender Lisandro Lopez has completed his return to Serie A by signing for Genoa from Benfica.
12.40 BST: Hertha Berlin's Germany left-back Marvin Plattenhardt remains linked with a move to the Premier League, with sources telling ESPN FC that Everton and Huddersfield could still be interested.
12.30 BST: Everton will demand £30 million from RB Leipzig for attacker Ademola Lookman, who played for the Bundesliga club on loan last season, the Mirror reports.
12.15 BST: Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud will hold talks with the club about extending his contract after turning down the chance to move to Marseille, the London Evening Standard reports.
12.05 BST: Arsenal are open to offers for Danny Welbeck, David Ospina and Mohamed Elneny before the window closes, sources close to the club have told ESPN FC.
11.55 BST -- DONE DEAL: To Italy, where Napoli have wrapped up the signing of Lille full-back Kevin Malcuit.
11.45 BST: Watford are in advanced talks with Barcelona over a loan deal for Paco Alcacer, sources close to the Premier League club have told ESPN FC.
11.30 BST: Athletic Bilbao have confirmed the payment of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga's release clause -- so it looks as though he is on his way to Stamford Bridge very soon.
11.25 BST -- DONE DEALS: Ipswich manager Paul Hurst has returned to his old club Shrewsbury to sign defender Toto Nsiala and attacker Jon Nolan for undisclosed fees.
✍️ | We are delighted to confirm the double signing of Toto Nsiala & Jon Nolan from @shrewsweb, with both players signing a three-year deal at #itfc!— Ipswich Town FC (@Official_ITFC) August 8, 2018
Welcome, @Ansiala36 & @jonnolan_92!
👉 https://t.co/NSKut01RBI pic.twitter.com/DvVH3HhCkJ
11.20 BST: Allow Burnley, Alan Partridge and a table to update you on the Ben Mee situation, because why wouldn't you?
Big news breaking: Ben's staying! pic.twitter.com/nfMEozsW9O— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) August 8, 2018
11.10 BST: Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has said he and Eden Hazard spoke to Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir about a possible move to Stamford Bridge during the World Cup, adding that he would "happily welcome" him to the club.
11.00 BST: A Manchester United recap for you now: Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has rejected a move to Old Trafford, according to several German outlets, which report that he called Jose Mourinho to inform him of the decision.
10.45 BST -- With just a few days left in the English transfer window, and the others closing soon after, David Amoyal rates the latest rumours.
10.35 BST -- DONE DEAL: Another deal for your delectation - Derby, or 'Frank Lampard's Derby,' have signed forward Martyn Waghorn from Ipswich on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
10.30 BST: The Guardian reports that Athletic Bilbao's Kepa Arrizabalaga is on his way to London to finalise a £71.6 million move to Chelsea, in what would become a new world-record fee for a goalkeeper. It says Chelsea, who triggered his buyout clause this morning, will also take Real Madrid's Mateo Kovacic on a season-long loan deal.
10.20 BST: Manchester City are set to confirm the signing of Melbourne City's Daniel Arzani in the next 24 hours and will loan him to Scottish champions Celtic, sources have told ESPN FC.
10.15 BST -- DONE DEAL: Wolves have announced the signing of Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore for an undisclosed fee, with the 22-year-old signing a five-year deal.
10.00 BST -- DONE DEAL: Scottish club Hibernian have signed winger Thomas Agyepong on loan from Manchester City subject to the completion of paperwork.
09.45 BST: Fulham have made a £14 million for Southampton defender Matt Targett, who helped them win promotion to the Premier League as a loan player last season, sources have told ESPN FC.
09.30 BST: Sheffield United are after striker Lee Gregory from Championship rivals Millwall, the Sheffield Star reports.
09.15 BST: AC Milan are closing in on a move for Chelsea's Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to Sky Sport Italia.
09.00 BST: Sport reports that Barcelona will make a new attempt to sign Frenkie De Jong from Dutch club Ajax, but does not believe they will be able to land Manchester United's Paul Pogba.
08.50 BST: Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere has said he will talk about the Mario Balotelli situation once the window has closed. Balotelli had been expected to join Marseille but, after missing the first two weeks of preseason training, has resumed preparations for the new campaign.
"Does the uncertainty over Mario Balotelli make the end of the transfer window more difficult? A bit," Rivere told Nice's website. "But we're doing our work, it's not holding anything up. Regarding Mario, I'll talk when the transfer window is closed."
08.40 BST: Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna could join MLS side Atlanta United from Benevento Calcio, Footmercato reports.
08.30 BST: Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney, now at MLS club DC United, has said he believes Jose Mourinho needs "maybe another signing or two" to launch a Premier league title challenge.
08.15 BST: Bayern Munich will not be signing Ante Rebic from Eintracht Frankfurt, coach Niko Kovac has told Sport Bild.
08.00 BST: "Accrington Stanley? Who are they?" a vintage advertisement once said. Well, Ipswich Town fans will be finding out after the Lancashire Telegraph reported that the Championship side "have won the race for Stanley striker Kayden Jackson," who will cost them around £1.5 million.
PAPER TALK: Pogba tells teammates he wants out at United
Paul Pogba has told his Manchester United teammates he wants to leave and has come to an agreement with Barcelona over a £350,000-a-week deal, according to the Mail.
World Cup-winner Pogba is said to have grown disillusioned with life under Jose Mourinho, sparking interest from the La Liga champions -- though time is likely to save United's blushes, with less than 48 hours to go until the end of the window.
The Mail reports that Pogba has sent United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward a message to inform him of his decision.
United are loath to lose Pogba just two years after bringing him in for £89 million and, with Mourinho already dissatisfied, it would likely take an astonishing offer for United to sell.
Boateng snubs Old Trafford
United appear set to sign one centre-back before Thursday's deadline -- but that will seemingly not be Jerome Boateng, despite talks between the club and Bayern Munich during this week's friendly in Munich.
According to Bild, the Germany international is said to have called Mourinho to inform him of his decision after Niko Kovac's plea for the centre-back to remain with the German champions.
The snub leaves Mourinho scrapping around for an alternative, something that is likely to strengthen Tottenham's hand in negotiations over Toby Alderweireld.
But United could rekindle their hopes of signing £65m World Cup star Harry Maguire, with Leicester closing in on two centre-backs late in the window to safeguard themselves against losing the England international.
The Mirror claims the Foxes are set to announce the signing of Croatia under-21 international Filip Benkovic from Dinamo Zagreb in a £13.5m move following a medical on Monday, while a swoop for Freiburg's Caglar Soyuncu appears to be gathering pace, with the clubs coming to an agreement at £22.5m.
- Tottenham have made a £25m offer for midfielder Jack Grealish and are waiting to hear back from Aston Villa, says the Telegraph.
- Everton look set to sign Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma on loan, the Mirror reports, with Marco Silva desperate for defensive reinforcements.
- The Mirror also says Fulham and Crystal Palace are monitoring the situation of Jordan Ayew at Swansea. The Ghanaian has gone AWOL since the club's relegation, but a move may not be likely given the Welsh club are demanding £12m to sell.