Belfast Telegraph

Real Madrid sign goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea

Belgium international moves to Spanish capital on Premier League transfer deadline day.

Thibaut Courtois has completed his move to Real Madrid from Chelsea.

The Belgium international, named best goalkeeper at the World Cup this summer, has signed a six-year deal after completing a medical on Thursday.

Courtois had a year remaining on his Chelsea deal and did not report for training with the Blues this week, before the transfer was agreed for a reported £31.5million.

A video on Real Madrid’s official Twitter feed showed Courtois signing his contract alongside club president Florentino Perez.

Chelsea confirmed the departure of the 26-year-old with a statement on their website, signing off with praise for their former goalkeeper.

“He has played an important role in the club’s success, and we wish him the best of luck for the future,” it read.

Courtois passed a medical at Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital and was later unveiled as a Real player at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Mateo Kovacic moving in the opposite direction on a season-long loan.

Having spent three seasons at Real’s city rivals Atletico Madrid, on loan from Chelsea, Courtois expressed a desire to return to the Spanish capital from London.

He lifted two Premier League titles during his time at Stamford Bridge, establishing himself as number one despite the presence of Petr Cech.

Chelsea reacted to Courtois’ impending departure by breaking their transfer record – and the world record for a goalkeeper – to land Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for £72.1million.

With Courtois going AWOL on Monday, he clearly damaged his relationship with a number of Chelsea supporters.

The former Racing Genk stopper deleted an Instagram post on Wednesday night in which he thanked the club and fans ahead of his move away.

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