Previous
Birmingham City
Swansea City
6:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Next

Transfer Rater: Balotelli to West Ham

Football Whispers
Read

Chelsea and Real Madrid agree fee for transfer of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois is linked to Real Madrid, but Shaka Hislop thinks Los Blancos' current keeper Keylor Navas isn't getting the respect he deserves.
With Thibaut Courtois set to join Real Madrid, the FC crew assess whether he improves their chances of winning La Liga more than Keylor Navas.

Thibaut Courtois is set for a move from Chelsea to Real Madrid pending a medical, after the clubs announced they had agreed to a deal on Wednesday.

According to sources, Real Madrid will pay Chelsea £35 million (€38.8m, $45m) for the Belgium international. The deal will also see midfielder Mateo Kovacic join the Blues on a season-long loan.

Chelsea have already moved to replace Courtois, activating the €80m (£71.5m) buyout clause in the contract of Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, making him the world's most expensive goalkeeper.

The deals bring an end to a protracted saga which culminated in Courtois declining to report for Chelsea training on Monday in an attempt to force the club to sell him, having informed Maurizio Sarri last week that he wanted to leave.

Real Madrid said Courtois will sign a six-year contract at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he will face competition for the No. 1 spot from incumbent Keylor Navas, who helped the club win the last three Champions League titles.

Courtois signed for Chelsea from Genk in the summer of 2011 and immediately went on loan to Atletico Madrid, where he won a La Liga title, the Europa League and the Copa del Rey as well as reaching a Champions League final in three seasons working under Diego Simeone.

In 2014 he returned to Stamford Bridge to end Petr Cech's 11-year reign as No. 1 goalkeeper and won two Premier League titles in four years with Chelsea, as well as the League Cup in 2015 and FA Cup in 2018.

But three years spent in the Spanish capital forged lasting connections for Courtois, and returning to Madrid will enable the Belgium international to spend more time with his two children, who live in the city with his former partner.

"I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the four fantastic years that have passed. Chelsea FC will always have a fantastic place in my heart," Courtois wrote on Facebook. "I want to thank the fans for their great support over the years.

"I hope you understand that being closer to my kids was considerable in my decision."

Madrid will present Courtois, who won the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper of the World Cup earlier this summer, at the Bernabeu at 1 p.m. local time on Thursday.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.