Dan Burke

Chelsea confirm Thibaut Courtois and Mateo Kovačić swap deal

Chelsea have confirmed they have agreed to sell Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid for a fee reported to be in the region of €35m.

As part of the deal, Mateo Kovačić will be moving to Stamford Bridge on a season long loan.

A brief statement released on the Blues official website on Wednesday evening 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 Kovačić will join the Blues on a season-long loan.”

Los Blancos also released a statement of their own shortly afterwards, in which it was confirmed that the Belgian will undergo a medical tomorrow before signing a six-year contract at the Bernabéu.

Courtois, who was named the best goalkeeper at the 2018 World Cup, had just one year remaining on his Chelsea contract and had refused to sign a new deal after learning of Madrid’s interest. His children live in the city and he was determined to return there.

The 26-year-old spent three years on loan with Atlético Madrid after joining Chelsea in 2011 and won the LaLiga title with the club in his final season.

Chelsea are expected to replace him with Athletic Club goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after activating the Spain international’s €80m buyout clause earlier on Wednesday.

Kovačić, meanwhile, expressed his desire to leave Madrid during the World Cup, citing a lack of opportunities.

The Croatian international midfielder, formerly of Inter Milan, moved to the Spanish giants in 2015. Since then he made 66 LaLiga appearances for the club, but 36 of those came from the bench.

With N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho guaranteed to start regularly, Kovačić will rival Cesc Fàbregas and Ross Barkley for a place in midfield at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are not believed to have the option to sign the 24-year-old permanently at the end of his loan spell.