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Transfers centre – live

Chelsea bring in Kepa and Kovacic as Courtois completes move to Real Madrid.

  • Chelsea sign Athletic Bilbao's Kepa Arrizabalaga for a world-record goalkeeper transfer fee of £72.1million
  • Thibaut Courtois completes Real Madrid move as Mateo Kovacic joins Chelsea
  • Filip Benkovic moves to Leicester from Dinamo Zagreb, but Harry Maguire staying with the Foxes
  • Wolves capture Leander Dendoncker from Anderlecht

Chelsea were the most active of the Premier League clubs in the hours before the summer transfer window closure on Thursday.

The Blues signed Kepa Arrizabalaga from Atletico Madrid for £72.1million, a world-record transfer fee for a goalkeeper, late on Wednesday night.

And Thibaut Courtois completed his move from Stamford Bridge to Real Madrid, signing a six-year deal after passing a medical, after Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic moved in the opposite direction on a season-long loan.

But Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho anticipated a quiet day at Old Trafford ahead of the 5pm BST transfer window deadline, with England defender Harry Maguire staying at Leicester.

Jack Grealish, meanwhile, was set to miss out on a move to Tottenham, with Aston Villa poised to offer the midfielder a new contract.

Mourinho’s former club Chelsea made significant moves. Belgium goalkeeper Courtois only had a year left on his Chelsea deal and was absent from training earlier this week as he looked to push through a reported £31.5million move to Real.

He got his wish on Thursday, when he was unveiled at Real’s home.

Chelsea completed the signing of Kovacic on Thursday morning. Blues director Marina Granovskaia described the Croatia midfielder as “a perfect fit” for how head coach Maurizio Sarri wishes to play this season.

Chelsea finished fifth in the Premier League last season, 30 points behind champions Manchester City, while Mourinho was seeking to strengthen United to cut the 19-point deficit to City.

Jose Mourinho was “not confident” of adding to his Manchester United squad on Thursday (Adam Davy/PA Images)

Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant all arrived at United by early July, but nobody has followed despite Mourinho’s explicit desire to bring in two more players.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s Premier League opener with Leicester, Mourinho was asked whether he expected any incoming players.

The Portuguese said: “I am not confident, and the market closes today, so it’s time, at least for me, to stop thinking about the market because the market will be closed.

“I focus on just what we have, and we go with everything we have to the first match.”

Harry Maguire, a rumoured Manchester United target, is poised to line up against them for Leicester on Friday (Mike Egerton/PA Images)

Pushed on whether there would be any ins or outs on Thursday, Mourinho added: “The information I have is no (nothing will happen).”

Mourinho warned last weekend that a “difficult season” could lie ahead if they failed to strengthen the squad before the deadline.

Press Association Sport understands United have been keen to sign a centre-back, but Leicester’s reluctance to sell Maguire looks to have scuppered any move for the England star.

Foxes boss Claude Puel said: “I can confirm he is going to Manchester – but only for a couple of hours!”

Leicester did make defensive reinforcements, signing 21-year-old Croatia defender Filip Benkovic from Dinamo Zagreb on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Wolves announced the signing of Belgium defender Leander Dendoncker from Anderlecht, initially on a season-long loan, becoming permanent next summer.

West Ham have confirmed the signing of forward Lucas Perez from Arsenal on a three-year deal.

The 29-year-old joined Arsenal from Deportivo La Coruna in August 2016 and spent last season on loan back at the Spanish club.

The striker said on West Ham’s official website: “I’m very excited, as West Ham are giving me the chance to stay in the Premier League and I’m very happy to be part of this new project. I’m very motivated.”

Midfielder Victor Camarasa signed for Cardiff on a season-long loan from Real Betis.

  • Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea.
  • Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea to Real Madrid.
  • Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid to Chelsea.
  • Filip Benkovic from Dinamo Zagreb to Leicester.
  • Leander Dendoncker from Anderlecht to Wolves.
  • Lucas Perez from Arsenal to West Ham.
  • Victor Camarasa from Real Betis to Cardiff.
  • Daniel Arzani from Melbourne City to Manchester City.

Manchester City signed Daniel Arzani from their partner club Melbourne City, with the 19-year-old Australia international poised to be sent out on loan.

One player who appears likely to be staying put is Grealish.

Grealish is to be offered a new deal by Villa, with the midlands club confident he will remain their player beyond the transfer deadline after rejecting offers from Spurs this summer.

The 22-year-old has two years left on his current deal and is not about to rock the boat at Villa Park and demand a move despite his desire to speak to Tottenham.


From Belfast Telegraph