Less than 48 hours to go until the summer transfer window closes, and Chelsea will likely take their business right down to the wire. After Thursday, 5pm local, they will no longer be able to buy any players, but could still sell players abroad until August 31.
Taking a spin through the latest transfer rumors and gossip making the rounds on the internet today, it’s all about the goalkeeper situation. Thibaut Courtois is trying to force through a move to Real Madrid, but Chelsea don’t want to sell until they have a replacement lined up.
The clock is ticking on the window of opportunity to do so.
Courtois failed to report to the Cobham training ground again today, meaning we have a full on “hold out” situation happening right now, as Courtois has missed two days of training.
According to multiple outlets, Courtois is trying to force through a move to Real Madrid, and some sources have said the transfer fee would be in the region of £35 million. If that seems cheap, remember that he is set to move on a free next next summer, and thus Stamford Bridge has had to negotiate from a position of weakness.
Who is the 26-year-old’s potential replacement? Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, it appears.
ESPN reports Chelsea are just kosher with paying his “€80 million (£71.5m) buyout clause with the player set to make a decision about his future in the coming hours.”
If that seems high, it’s because that sum would be a new world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper, surpassing what Liverpool paid, just a couple weeks ago, for Alisson Becker by about £4 million. It’s clear that Chelsea are in a position of weakness in negotiations here as well, with the 11th hour of the transfer window looming.
Meanwhile the Daily Express takes this narrative a step further by saying that the Arrizabalaga deal is already in place and that Courtois is now in limbo and “waiting on Real president Florentino Perez to call him.” The Express cites Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.
Courtois has openly pined for a return to Spain, where he spent some time on loan with Atletico Madrid. He has two small children who live there, and he’s repeatedly spoken in public about his desire to spend more time with them.
It appears that Chelsea, who took a very long time to get their transfer business going this summer, could be the most active club on deadline day; potentially.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.
Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud and YouTube. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to any and all of his.
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