Chelsea turn to Kepa Arrizabalaga to replace Real Madrid-bound Thibaut Courtois

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Kepa Arrizabalaga looks to be Chelsea-bound.

Chelsea are looking at a move for Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to replace Thibaut Courtois.

With Courtois set to join Real Madrid and the English transfer window closing in two days, the Blues are scrambling to find a replacement before the transfer deadline on August 9.

Kepa was a target of Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri when the Italian was manager at Napoli – and of course, heavily linked with a move to Madrid himself during last season’s January transfer window, when he ended up signing a new contract with the Basque outfit.

That contract extension includes an €80million release clause. If Chelsea were to trigger that, it would make the young Spaniard the most expensive goalkeeper ever.

Incidentally, that cost will also be much more than what they are likely to get in return for Courtois, with the Belgian expected to leave for €35million since he’s in the final year of his contract.

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Real Madrid defender Theo Hernandez edging closer to loan move

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Theo Hernandez has struggled for game time at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid defender Theo Hernandez’s loan move to Real Sociedad is almost done, with the two clubs expected to thrash out the formalities of the arrangement this week.

According to Marca, the 20-year-old, who has also been linked with newly-promoted Premier League side Fulham, will sign for the San Sebastian outfit on a year-long loan.

Los Blancos are set to pay a portion of the former Atletico Madrid man’s wages during this period while it is expected the left-back will get valuable first-team action, setting him up to become a regular at the Bernabeu in the coming years.

Hernandez moved to Real last summer but struggled to establish himself under Zinedine Zidane, making just 13 La Liga appearances overall and 23 in total.

He is part of Julen Lopetegui’s plans moving forward but so long as the evergreen Marcelo keeps performing, his opportunities are limited.

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Transfer round-up: Real Madrid target Courtois fails to report for Chelsea training

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It's a long-running saga over Thibaut Courtois's future.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois failed to report for training on Monday as doubts over his future at Stamford Bridge intensified.

Press Association Sport understands Courtois was absent from the Blues’ Cobham training base despite being due to make his return from a summer break.

The 26-year-old, who has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid, was handed an extended holiday after finishing third at the World Cup with Belgium and has reportedly told new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri he wants to leave.

Courtois’ Belgian team-mate Eden Hazard is also being linked with a move away from Chelsea but Willian insists he is happy at the club despite revealing Barcelona made an approach for his services.

“I’m a Chelsea player,” Willian told ESPN Brasil. “I always made it clear that what I wanted was to stay in the club. The only club I knew that really made an official offer for me was Barcelona.

“But I have my head here and I intend to continue in the club unless the club wants to sell me. But my head is here in the club.”

Brazilian midfielder wants Stamford Bridge stay.

Brazilian midfielder wants Stamford Bridge stay.

On what could be a frenetic final few days of the window at Stamford Bridge, Atletico Madrid‘s Jan Oblak and Jack Butland of Stoke are the two goalkeepers being touted as potential successors to Courtois.

Newcastle announced the season-long loan signing of striker Salomon Rondon from West Brom.

The club’s official statement labelled the Venezuela international as Rafael Benitez’s “number one transfer target” after he joined in a move which saw Dwight Gayle move the other way for the campaign.

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce spoke about the future of supposed-Tottenham target Jack Grealish after seeing his side beat Hull 3-1 in the Championship.

Grealish impressed for Villa last season and could yet become Tottenham’s first signing of the window before it shuts on Thursday.

The 22-year-old spent plenty of time applauding the travelling supporters as he was substituted late on at the KCOM Stadium but Bruce is keen to keep hold of the precocious midfielder.

Bruce told Sky Sports: “We will do our best to keep hold of him, but it is going to be difficult. We understand the human side. He will want to play in the Premier League, Europe, Champions League. The owner has made it clear that he wants him to stay. To be fair to Jack he has got on with it.”

Villa had earlier announced the re-signing of Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe on a season-long loan, with Jose Mourinho still keen to add to his ranks at Old Trafford before the deadline.

The Red Devils continue to be linked with a move for a central defender, with Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire of Leicester and Bayern Munich‘s Jerome Boateng all linked with Old Trafford.

Scored in World Cup final: Paul Pogba.

Paul Pogba is unlikely to leave Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba‘s agent Mino Raiola is reported to be lining up a move for the United midfielder, with Barcelona and Juventus among the destinations mentioned in dispatches.

Everton are reported to have won the race to sign Brazil international Bernard following interest from Inter Milan and West Ham, and it has also been suggested the Toffees have reached an agreement for Barcelona centre-back Yerry Mina.

BBC Sport reported later on Monday that Wolves, promoted as Championship winners last season, are close to breaking their transfer record to land Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore.

The decision to bring the deadline forward so that no new signings can be added after the Premier League season begins, plus the World Cup, means the final days of the window could be frantic.

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