Sport

Chelsea, Real Madrid agree to Thibaut Courtois deal

Chelsea, Real Madrid agree to Thibaut Courtois deal

Belgium global Courtois went AWOL and refused to train with Chelsea in hope of forcing through a move to Real.

Real Madrid have offered Chelsea FC the chance to sign Mateo Kovacic as part of a deal for Thibaut Courtois, according to reporter Duncan Castles.

Modric, awarded the Golden Ball as best player at the World Cup, was given a break rather than join Real's pre-season tour of the United States, as were another Croatian World Cup finalist, Mateo Kovacic, who was reported to have travelled to London to join Chelsea, French World Cup victor Raphael Varane and Brazilian duo Marcelo and Casemiro.

"For me, Courtois is one of the best", he said on Sky Sports' Premier League launch show.

The Belgian, who won the Golden Glove at this summer's World Cup, kissed Madrid's badge in front of the supporters in attendance. But the club has been linked with a new goalkeeper in most recent transfer windows, and tried to sign David De Gea from Manchester United in 2015 only to miss the deadline.

Chelsea have only been willing to sell Courtois once they have a replacement on the books.




Chelsea's 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.

The 26-year-old had entered the final year of his deal at the Premier League club and made no secret of his desire to move to the Spanish capital, the home of his children and where he previously spent three seasons with Atletico Madrid.

Kepa, who came close to joining Real Madrid in January, becomes the world's most expensive goalkeeper, his fee surpassing the 67 million euros Liverpool splashed out for Roma's Alisson last month.

"It's a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life", Kepa told the club's official website. Sarri also hinted that Eden Hazard is likely to stay at the London club.

Kovacic has struggled for regular game time at the Bernabeu due to Luka Modric and Toni Kroos being ahead of him in the midfield pecking order, and has had similar difficulties in securing a starting spot for his country due to the presence of Modric and Ivan Rakitic.