Report: Real Madrid, Chelsea Agree Thibaut Courtois Fee, Blues Need Replacement

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19:  Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea celebrates at the end of the Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea have agreed a deal to sell goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid, according to French source RMC (h/t Get French Football News):

However, Kristof Terreur of Het Laatste Nieuws has raised doubts a deal is close, with the Blues likely to push to secure a new No. 1 before letting Belgium international Courtois leave:

A fee of €35 million would be a steal for arguably the best goalkeeper in the game. However, Chelsea's hands are tied somewhat by the stopper being out of contract next summer.

Guillem Balague believes the Blues could be prepared to let Courtois go, per Sky Sports.

Yet the 26-year-old is surely a player new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri would want to keep, especially after his performances at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Courtois collected FIFA's Golden Glove award as the best goalkeeper at the tournament:

There's not much doubt Courtois would be an upgrade on Real's current first-choice Keylor Navas:

But Sarri's bid to replace Courtois could be compromised by Liverpool's proposed pursuit of Roma's Alisson. The Independent's Simon Hughes and Ed Malyon reported the Reds have bid more than £60 million for the Brazil international on Tuesday, while also naming Chelsea as an interested party.

Hughes and Malyon noted Real are "more focused" on Courtois, something "that has pushed Chelsea into the chase for Alisson."

Goal's Nizaar Kinsella also reported the Blues' interest in Alisson:

Even so, it may be difficult for Chelsea to countenance paying potentially more than double what they may receive for Courtois to replace him with an inferior keeper.

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