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Thibaut Courtois saga takes a twist; Kepa fee agreed

Athletic Club v Real Madrid - La Liga

BILBAO, SPAIN - DECEMBER 02: Kepa Arrizabalaga of Athletic Club reacts during the La Liga match between Athletic Club and Real Madrid at Estadio de San Mames on December 2, 2017 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

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It appears that Thibaut Courtois is edging closer to the exit door at Chelsea, but plenty of things have to slot into place for that to happen before Thursday’s 12 p.m. ET deadline.

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After failing to return for preseason training on Monday as expected, Courtois didn’t show on Tuesday either and has been seen back home in Belgium.

While the Telegraph claim that Chelsea have agreed a fee to sign Atletico Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga (brilliant name for a goalkeeper) who has a release clause of $90 million. If that deal happens it will be a club-record fee for the Blues and a world-record fee for a goalkeeper.

Back to Courtois, and it is reported he will be fined close to $259,000 for missing training for a second day as he looks set to leave Maurizio Sarri’s side. His desire is to return to Madrid (he spent two years in the Spanish capital on loan with Atletico) to be closer to his two children.

With the 26-year-old goalkeeper eager to seal a move to Real Madrid with just one year left on his current contract, Courtois’ displays at the World Cup this summer cranked up the interest in him several notches.

Winner of the “Golden Glove” award as the best goalkeeper during the tournament, Courtois would be an upgrade on Real’s current first-choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas and it could also set a few dominoes falling in the final days of the transfer window.

As we mentioned earlier, Real midfielder Mateo Kovacic is close to joining Chelsea on loan in somewhat of a makeweight in the deal.

And now Kepa, who is said to be traveling to London to seal the deal, will replace Courtois.

So, if Chelsea lost Courtois but got Kovacic on loan and Kepa for an overall spend of $45 million, is that a good deal?

The jury is out. Keeping Courtois at Stamford Bridge should be the aim forChelsea but it appears the Belgian has made up his mind and wants to join the reigning European champions.

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