Sport Soccer

Thursday 18 October 2018

Transfers centre – live

Chelsea linked with Kepa Arrizabalaga as uncertainty surrounds Thibault Courtois’ future.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri had to deal with plenty of goalkeeper speculation (Mike Egerton/PA)
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri had to deal with plenty of goalkeeper speculation (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

  • Chelsea reportedly in talks to sign Athletic Bilbao's Kepa Arrizabalaga for world record goalkeeper fee of £71million.
  • Thibaut Courtois' future at Stamford Bridge remains uncertain.
  • Tottenham linked with £25million bid for Aston Villa's Jack Grealish.
  • Burnley sign Joe Hart and Matej Vydra.

Chelsea commanded the headlines heading into the penultimate day of the summer transfer window after making a reported world-record bid for Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Stamford Bridge outfit were reportedly in advanced talks to sign the 23-year-old Spaniard after making a £71million offer. The fee would eclipse the £65million, the previous highest for a goalkeeper, that Liverpool paid to sign Alisson Becker from Roma earlier in the summer.

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Thibaut Courtois has reportedly been absent from training (Martin Rickett/PA)

Chelsea’s need for a new keeper has become pressing after current number one Thibaut Courtois, who has been heavily linked with Real Madrid, failed to report for training for a second successive day.

The Belgian had been due to return on Monday after a delayed summer holiday following the World Cup.

Manager Maurizio Sarri refused to give much away on either matter when he spoke to media after Tuesday’s friendly against Lyon.

Asked if Courtois could leave, the Italian said: “I don’t know at this moment. I want to speak with my club and then altogether we will decide about it.”

On Kepa, he said: “If I don’t know anything about Courtois, I don’t know anything about Kepa.”

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Eden Hazard looks set to stay at Chelsea (David Davies/PA)

Sarri, however, did indicate that playmaker Eden Hazard, who said over the summer that it might be time to move on, was likely to be staying.

“I have spoken with Eden two or three times in the last two days,” he said. “We have spoken of everything. I think this problem is not present now.”

In one other piece of Chelsea news, the club continued to be linked with a loan move for Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

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Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has been linked with Tottenham (Mike Egerton/PA)

Tottenham are the only Premier League club not to have made a signing ahead of Thursday’s deadline but there were reports on Tuesday evening they had made a £25million move for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish.

Villa boss Steve Bruce admitted earlier in the week the club were likely to have a battle on their hands to keep the 22-year-old playmaker.

Meanwhile, Manchester United’s search for a new centre-back may have to continue after reports in the German media suggested Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng had turned down the chance to move to Old Trafford.

United, who continue to be linked with Leicester’s England defender Harry Maguire, had reportedly opened talks with Bayern for the former Manchester City player at the weekend.

  • Joe Hart from Manchester City to Burnley.
  • Jefferson Lerma from Levante to Bournemouth.
  • Matej Vydra from Derby to Burnley.
  • Calum Chambers (loan) from Arsenal to Fulham.

Some deals were completed on Tuesday, with Burnley signing former England number one Joe Hart and Derby striker Matej Vydra.

Hart, who has spent the past two seasons on loan a Torino and West Ham, moved to Turf Moor after 12 years a Manchester City player. The 31-year-old won two titles at the Etihad Stadium but fell out of favour after the arrival of Pep Guardiola as manager in 2016.

Vydra, who has previously played in the top flight with West Brom and Watford, top-scored in the Championship with 21 goals last season. The Clarets may also not be finished with West Brom’s Jay Rodriguez another potential signing.

Bournemouth broke their club record to sign Colombia midfielder Jefferson Lerma from Levante for a fee understood to be £25million. Fulham continued their busy summer by signing Arsenal defener Calum Chambers on a season-long loan.

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