Thibaut Courtois getting dream move to Real Madrid as Mateo Kovacic heads to Chelsea on season-long loan

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Thibaut Courtois is getting his dream move to Real Madrid in a deal that will see Mateo Kovacic head to Chelsea on a season-long loan.

After months of speculation surrounding the Belgium goalkeeper, the 26-year-old has got his wish to swap Stamford Bridge for the Bernabeu.

Courtois 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 Chelsea on Thursday.

The imminent world-record deal for Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has paved the way for his exit, allowing him to move for a reported £35million as Croatia midfielder Kovacic heads the other way.

A statement from Chelsea read: “Chelsea and Real Madrid have tonight agreed terms for the permanent transfer of Thibaut Courtois subject to the agreement of personal terms and passing a medical.

“Subject to the completion of the deal Mateo Kovacic will join the Blues on a season-long loan.”

Real Madrid have confirmed that Courtois will undergo a medical on Thursday morning, before signing a six-year deal and being presented at 13:00 local time.

Kovacic will join Chelsea on loan until June 30, 2019, as part of the deal, with the Croatia international spending a season away from the club he joined from Inter Milan in 2015.

Despite that impressive signing, Maurizio Sarri’s main acquisition before the deadline is set to be Kepa.

Athletic confirmed on Wednesday that the 23-year-old’s release clause of 80million euros (£71m) was activated and his contract terminated, although made no mention of Chelsea.

The fee is a world record for a goalkeeper, surpassing the £65m paid by Liverpool to Roma for Brazil goalkeeper Alisson just last month.

A statement on Athletic’s official website read: “On Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 12:02 hours (CET), the Professional Football League confirmed to us that the player, Kepa Arrizabalaga, has met the requirements for the valid unilateral termination of the work contract that linked him to Athletic Club.

“The amount of the compensation established in the contract has been deposited. Athletic thanks the player for his contribution during the time he has remained in our club.”

Chelsea open their Premier League campaign at Huddersfield on Saturday, having suffered a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Community Shield last weekend.

Napoli midfielder Jorginho made his debut in the Wembley defeat, while former England goalkeeper Robert Green is the only other notable first-team signing so far this summer.

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Live Real Madrid Blog: Thibaut Courtois is a Real Madrid player as Mateo Kovacic heads to Chelsea

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Hello All! It’s Stuart Appleby here bringing you live Real Madrid news on Wednesday.

Overnight, the Whites defeated Roma 2-1 in the International Champions Cup and we’ll be bringing you reaction from New Jersey.

As ever, get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook.

Hala Madrid!

11.40pm – Thibaut Courtois is a Real Madrid player as Mateo Kovacic heads to Chelsea

COURTOIS

The Thibaut Courtois saga has come to an end with Chelsea confirming the sale of the goalkeeper to Real Madrid as Mateo Kovacic heads in the opposite direction.

If the deal goes through, depending on the agreement of personal terms and a medical, Kovacic will join Chelsea on a season-long loan, the Premier League club announced.
Read more on this breaking story here.

5.16pm – Cristiano Ronaldo is heading back to Real Madrid – but it’s only for a friendly

CristianoRonaldo (2)

Cristiano Ronaldo is heading back to Real Madrid – with the club planning to celebrate the club record goalscorer’s contribution to Los Blancos.

The Portuguese will be invited back next year so Real can pay tribute to one of their all-time greats.
Read the full story here.

2.15pm – Julen Lopetegui remains tight-lipped on Thibaut Courtois

0731 Lopetegui Preseason

Things seem to be moving quickly now with Kepa on the verge of a move to Chelsea, but Julen Lopetegui batted away talk of buying Thibaut Courtois after Real Madrid beat Roma in a pre-season friendly last night.

Instead the new Los Blancos coach decided to praise current incumbent Keylor Navas. Who’s he kidding, though … read more here.

10.45am – Promising signs from Vinicius Junior

Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior believes he is getting better and better everyday in a Whites shirt.

Read more, here.

Hot prospect: Vinicius Junior.

Hot prospect: Vinicius Junior.

10.30am – Will Thibaut Courtois sign for Los Blancos?

It’s the question no one quite knows the answer to at the moment but a deal for the Chelsea goalkeeper looks certain, given Mateo Kovacic is about to head in the opposite direction on loan and the Stamford Bridge club have lodged an approach for Athletic Bilbao stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga as Courtois’s replacement.

Anyway, the long-running transfer saga topped the billing on our front page this morning:

10am – Asensio and Bale on target for Real

Real Madrid rounded off their pre-season tour stateside with a 2-1 win over Roma on Tuesday evening.

Read the match report, here.

Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale celebrates his goal with his teammates against AS Roma during their 2018 International Champions Cup at the MetLife stadium on August 07, 2018, in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ / AFP) (Photo credit should read EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Gareth Bale got an assist and goal for Los Blancos.

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Modric and Kovacic 'happy' to be at Real Madrid despite transfer speculation

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Kovacic and Modric with the Champions League trophy in 2017.

Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui says Croatian midfield duo Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic are both happy at the club, even as speculation grows that one or both could leave this summer.

Modric has been linked with a move to Inter Milan, with recent reports suggesting the midfielder who has been one of Madrid’s best players over the last three to four seasons, is trying to force a transfer.

Meanwhile, Kovacic continues to be linked with a move away given concerns over his lack of playing time at Madrid. The midfielder’s path to the starting XI has been blocked by Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro, and his reduced minutes impacted his international career as he was largely a bit-part player during Croatia’s run to the World Cup final this summer – a run that saw Modric win the Golden Ball at the tournament.

However, Madrid’s new manager insists the two are content.

“The level of excitement is as high as it can be, as it is with most of the players,” he said. “My understanding is that both are happy to be here.”

Madrid president Florentino Perez categorically ruled out a Modric sale last week, and Lopetegui echoed those thoughts on Tuesday before the team’s 2-1 pre-season win over Roma.

“The president was clear and unequivocal,” Lopetegui said. “We’re in no doubt at all that Modric is going to continue playing for us just as he has been.”

Spanish media had reported that Kovacic had gone on strike to push through a transfer, and rumours of a move to Chelsea have grown stronger. While it’s more likely that the 24-year-old leaves, Lopetegui remains happy with the player’s commitment.

“I’ve not seen that he’s gone on strike,” the Spaniard said. “He trained normally. Mateo is a member of the squad, and I am delighted with him.”

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