Transfers centre – live
Chelsea look poised to break a transfer world record as options begin to run out for Manchester United.
Chelsea are set to make Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga the most expensive goalkeeper in history.
As Thibaut Courtois edges towards the exit, the west Londoners have moved promptly to fill the number one slot in a deal that surpasses the £65million deal Liverpool struck with Roma for Alisson Becker last month.
Bilbao announced on Wednesday that Kepa’s 80 million euros (£71million) buy-out clause has been met, although the statement made no mention of Chelsea.
A statement from Athletic read: “Kepa Arrizabalaga has met the requirements for the valid unilateral termination of the work contract that linked him to Athletic Club.
“The amount of the compensation established in the contract has been deposited.
“Athletic thanks the player for his contribution during the time he has remained in our club.”
Kepa had looked set to join Real Madrid at the turn of the year, but now Belgium international Courtois, who has been absent from Chelsea training this week, appears ready to join the Champions League winners.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri described Kepa on Tuesday as “very young, but very, very good”, but did not comment on the club’s pursuit of the player.
English clubs have until 5pm on Thursday to push through deals before the transfer window closes.
Wolves have signed Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore for an undisclosed fee, reported to be a club-record £18million.
The 22-year-old has signed a five-year deal at Molineux.
Traore, who came through the youth system at Barcelona, excelled in Boro’s Championship campaign last season.
He made 71 appearances in two seasons at the Riverside, having joined from Aston Villa in 2016.
Traore was a team-mate of Jack Grealish at Villa Park, and playmaker Grealish’s future remains the subject of speculation amid interest from Tottenham.
The 22-year-old is reportedly disappointed and disillusioned to have seen his path blocked to the Champions League side with less than 24 hours of the window remaining.
Spurs have been monitoring the Villa star all summer, but the Championship club are apparently determined to keep the homegrown talent.
Press Association Sport understands Manchester United have no intention of selling Paul Pogba, who has been linked with Barcelona, but Jose Mourinho’s hopes of strengthening his squad were fading.
England’s World Cup star Harry Maguire has been among the main targets this summer, but Leicester have repeatedly made it clear that the defender is not for sale.
It is understood that an offer has yet to be tabled for Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, while United’s interest in imposing Barcelona defender Yerry Mina is tempered by financial demands.
That deal does not appear to be dead just yet and Jerome Boateng is another option, although Bayern Munich are understood not to be keen to sanction a loan deal that United would like.
Elsewhere, Cardiff goalkeeper Lee Camp has joined Birmingham on a free transfer and Bournemouth left-back Brad Smith has signed a loan deal at the Seattle Sounders.
West Ham’s Jordan Hugill has joined Middlesbrough on a season-long loan, while Frank Lampard continues to build at Derby after buying Ipswich striker Martyn Waghorn.
The Rams fought off competition from Middlesbrough and Sheffield United to land Waghorn for an undisclosed fee, thought to be around £5million.
Lampard told the club’s official website: “He has been sought after all summer and we’ve managed to bring him here, which is fantastic.
“We sold the club to him and, importantly, he wanted to come here and that’s the sort of player that I want in the squad.
“Martyn has many great qualities and he has been pretty prolific over the last few years in front of goal. He is a real all-round striker and last year we saw not only could he score goals in the Championship but create them as well.”