Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of Chelsea and Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois on a six-year deal.
The 26-year-old joins Los Blancos for a fee reported to be around the £35m mark, where he will rival current incumbent Keylor Navas for the number one jersey at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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) August 8, 2018
Announcing the deal on their official website, a Real Madrid statement said: “Real Madrid CF and Chelsea FC have agreed to the transfer of player Thibaut Courtois, who remains linked to the club for the next six seasons.
Courtois had been at Stamford Bridge since 2011, having joined from Belgian Pro League side Genk for a fee of €9m. He went on to enjoy three highly successful years on loan at Atlético Madrid, scooping a La Liga and Copa Del Rey crown, as well as lifting the Europa League and Super Cup trophies.
He was a runner-up in the Champions League final with Atleti before returning to West London, where he ousted Petr Cech as the Blues’ number one goalkeeper.
He made 154 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea, winning two Premier League titles, as well as last season’s FA Cup and the EFL Cup during the 2014/15 season.
He has always been destined for a return to Madrid however, with his young family having remained in Spain following his stint with Atlético. The 2018 Golden Glove winner at this summer’s World Cup reportedly went ‘AWOL’ in an attempt to force through a move, with Chelsea seemingly reluctant to part with one of their most prized assets.
The Blues subsequent capture of Athletic keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has finally allowed Courtois to pursue his dream of playing for Real, where he
Kovačić’s arrival at Stamford Bridge will provide new manager Maurizio Sarri with a timely boost ahead of the new Premier League season, as the Italian coach looking to imprint his attacking philosophy upon his new charges.
The 24-year-old will bring plenty of top level experience with him to England, having made over 150 league appearances for Inter and Real in his career thus far.
He will compete for a place in central midfield with Cesc Fabregas and Ruben Loftus-Cheek among others, with Jorginho and N’Golo Kante likely guaranteed starting berths this season.