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.
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) 8 August 2018
“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.
Overnight, the Whites defeated Roma 2-1 in the International Champions Cup and we’ll be bringing you reaction from New Jersey.
11.40pm – Thibaut Courtois is a Real Madrid player as Mateo Kovacic heads to Chelsea
5.16pm – Cristiano Ronaldo is heading back to Real Madrid – but it’s only for a friendly
Cristiano Ronaldo is heading back to Real Madrid – with the club planning to celebrate the club record goalscorer’s contribution to Los Blancos.
2.15pm – Julen Lopetegui remains tight-lipped on Thibaut Courtois
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.
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.
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.”