It's summer, and that means Real Madrid is after another big name goalkeeper to replace the always-reliable Keylor Navas. It's been an interesting transfer window for the goalkeeper position, with Liverpool breaking the record transfer fee for Brazilian shot-stopper Alisson. And now, there are two more big moves. Real Madrid has agreed to a deal for Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, while the Blues quickly found their replacement in Spain. Here's what happened:
Real Madrid reaches deal with Chelsea for Courtois
Real Madrid, often linked with David De Gea of Manchester United, has struck a deal with Courtois and his club. Chelsea and Real Madrid announced the move on Wednesday that a deal had been reached, subject to personal terms and a physical. Courtois will be presented on Thursday after his physical and that he'll sign a six-year contract.
Courtois had been forcing this move through after he didn't show up to the Blues' facilities for preseason training and wasn't available for the Community Shield against Manchester City over the weekend. In the end, he gets the move what he wanted, while Chelsea boosts its midfield with Kovacic, a young central defensive midfielder who was a runner-up at the World Cup with Croatia.
Chelsea replaces Courtois with Spanish youngster Kepa
Chelsea, meanwhile, has smashed the transfer fee record for a goalkeeper, which was set when Liverpool bought Alisson from Roma earlier in the summer. The target was Kepa Arrizabalaga of Athletic Bilbao in Spain, whose release clause was triggered on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Chelsea officially announced the signing.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper has only played 53 matches for Bilbao but has already been capped by the Spanish national team. He's looked at as the top goalkeeper prospect in the country and with the potential to become one of the world's best. But an €80 million release clause, even in this transfer market, could end up being a risky move for the Blues if he doesn't pan out. In the end, they seem to think can become the world's best based on the cash that's being splashed to acquire him.
What happens to Keylor Navas?
What else does this guy need to prove? He is no backup, except until now with Courtois set to join. The Costa Rica star, who went from Levante to Real Madrid, may need to find a new home. He's too good to not start, and there are some clubs around the world that could really use him -- with teams like Juventus and Napoli coming to mind. He certainly can't be thrilled to know his starting place may soon be gone, and it looks like he too will likely be gone from the Spanish capital before long.