Wednesday 12 December 2018

Transfers centre – live

Chelsea have brought in Kepa Arrizabalaga and Mateo Kovacic.

Mateo Kovacic is a Chelsea player for the season (Nick Potts/PA)
Mateo Kovacic is a Chelsea player for the season (Nick Potts/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

  • Chelsea sign Athletic Bilbao's Kepa Arrizabalaga for a world-record goalkeeper transfer fee of £72.1million
  • Thibaut Courtois heading to Real Madrid as Mateo Kovacic joins Chelsea
  • Filip Benkovic moves to Leicester from Dinamo Zagreb
  • Lucas Perez joins West Ham from Arsenal
  • Manchester City take Australia's Daniel Arzani from Melbourne City

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 Athletic Bilbao for £72.1million, a world-record transfer for a goalkeeper, late on Wednesday night.

Thibaut Courtois was poised to be unveiled by Real Madrid on Thursday after leaving Stamford Bridge, while 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.

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 Wednesday night, subject to a medical, and was poised to be unveiled on a six-year deal later on Thursday.

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, 30 points behind champions Manchester City in the Premier League season, 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 Harry Maguire looks to have scuppered any move for the England star.

Jerome Boateng was another option but Bayern Munich have not been keen to sanction a loan move. Any deal for Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld was a way off on the eve of the deadline and interest in Barcelona defender Yerry Mina has been tempered up until now by prohibitive financial demands.

Whatever the explanation, the lack of new faces compounds issues surrounding the United squad heading into the Premier League season.

Leicester signed 21-year-old Croatia defender Filip Benkovic on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Benkovic joins Portuguese right-back Ricardo Pereira, Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans, England youth international James Maddison, Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward and Algeria winger Rachid Ghezzal at the King Power Stadium.

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.”

  • Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea.
  • Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid to Chelsea.
  • Filip Benkovic from Dinamo Zagreb to Leicester.
  • Lucas Perez from Arsenal to West Ham.
  • 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.

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