Getty Images

Reports: Manchester United readying a De Gea extension

Leave a comment

According to a number of reports, including ESPN and the BBC, Manchester United is preparing a contract extension for goalkeeper David De Gea that the club expects him to sign.

The ESPN report states that de Gea is moving towards committing his future to Old Trafford after Real Madrid – a team long rumored to covet the Spaniard – moved for Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Despite Madrid’s heavy, long-term interest in de Gea, the move for Courtois makes perfect sense given both his lower cost (thanks to his dire contractual situation at Chelsea) and age.

[ MORE: PL Week 1 player power rankings ]

De Gea famously came inches from a move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2015, only for a broken fax machine to scupper the deal up against the transfer deadline. After that failed transaction, he signed a new contract with Manchester United. Now, three years later, he is in the final year of his contract and both he and the club must make a decision on his future soon.

According to The Guardian, de Gea will receive a significant increase to his salary that will earn him nearly $12 million a year.

At 27 years old, de Gea is just entering the typical peak seasons for a goalkeeper. However, he was less than impressive at the 2018 World Cup as Spain bowed out early in the knockout round.

The ESPN report states that the extension would be for five years, which would theoretically keep him at Old Trafford through the summer of 2023 and would earn him a testimonial after being with the club for over 10 seasons.

Official: Chelsea sends Courtois to Madrid, signs Kepa for record fee

Getty Images

It truly is the summer of goalkeepers.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is officially headed to Real Madrid after the Blues confirmed they have reached an agreement on for his transfer.

According to the official club release, written in obnoxiously large font, Courtois still must agree to personal terms with Madrid and complete a medical. In the other direction comes midfielder Mateo Kovacic on a season-long loan, bolstering Chelsea’s already strong midfield ranks. Kovacic must also complete a medical to rubber stamp the deal.

Reports over the last few days have suggested that Chelsea would block Courtois’s move to Madrid, despite pleas from his agent, with the club failing in its search for a replacement. Now, the transfer is a reality.

Coming to the Blues in the other direction is rising Croatian talent Kovacic, who fits in nicely to the Chelsea midfield and could play an important role in the buildup-based system new manager Mauricio Sarri plans to implement. The midfield ranks are crowded, with Ngolo Kante, Cesc Fabregas, Jorginho, Ross Barkley, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater all on the roster, although Bakayoko has been the subject of loan rumors of late.

Hours later, Chelsea¬†announced the signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for a fee of $92 million, a record for a goalkeeper that breaks Liverpool’s signing of Alisson earlier this window. The 23-year-old comes highly rated, yet highly inexperienced. He has just 53 top flight appearances in his career between an earlier loan at Real Valladolid and this past season with the Athletic senior side.

All of this also has a major effect on incumbent Real Madrid starter Keylor Navas, who has won three straight Champions League titles with Los Blancos. The Costa Rican is well-liked in Madrid, but with so many top goalkeepers linked to the club over the past few windows, it seems as if Florentino Perez has been trying to replace him for years.

Thibaut Courtois saga takes a twist; Kepa fee agreed

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.

WATCH LIVE: Transfer Deadline Day show, August 9 at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via

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.

Chelsea struggling to find Courtois replacement with Madrid move on hold

Getty Images
1 Comment

Chelsea will not sell Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid without securing a replacement, and have thus halted all discussions, according to a Sky Sports report on Monday afternoon.

Following his Golden Glove performance at the 2018 World Cup, Madrid has been heavily linked with Courtois as an upgrade from Costa Rican international Keylor Navas who has served as the starting goalkeeper for each of the last three years at the Bernabeu. Los Blancos have won the Champions League each of those three seasons.

However, according to the Sky Sports report, negotiations have been broken off by Chelsea with the Blues requiring a replacement to be secured before they can continue. With the Premier League season just 11 days off, the options are dwindling.

Leicester City manager Claude Puel has stated publicly that with the season so close, he believes Kasper Schmeichel will stay at King Power Stadium. The Danish international, who also excelled this summer in Russia, has been mentioned as one of the top choices to replace Courtois should he leave, but that option may be off the table. In addition, Jordan Pickford is reportedly set to engage in negotiations for a contract extension at Everton when he returns from his extended post-World Cup rest.

The Sky Sports report puts the latest Courtois valuation by Madrid at $42 million, significantly lower than the $87.7 transfer fee Liverpool paid for Alisson this summer, a record for a goalkeeper. That is because Courtois is in the final year of his contract at Chelsea, and the pressure is on the Blues to sell him now or lose him for nothing, destroying the club’s negotiating leverage.

Still, reports suggest Courtois has not ruled out signing a new contract at Stamford Bridge, which would obviously be the ideal scenario for the Blues. With that still in flux, there is no telling who will be the starting Chelsea goalkeeper when they open the season Saturday, August 11 against Huddersfield Town.

Chelsea linked with several goalkeepers as Courtois decision looms

Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Maurizio Sarri is being linked with a quartet of goalkeepers at Chelsea, whether Thibaut Courtois skips town or not.

Stoke’s Jack Butland is one name on the list, but the Potters want close to $40 million for their England national teamer. Sky says Leicester City and Crystal Palace would also like Butland, but Butland prefers a European contender.

[ MORE: PST chats with De Rossi ]

Sarri could also bring one of his old backstops from Serie A back to the Premier League in the form of Pepe Reina.

The former Liverpool backstop could cost $12 million, and would be eyed as insurance for a No. 1 keeper. Wily Caballero is Courtois’ current back-up.

Then there’s¬†Marca, which claims Courtois’ move to Real Madrid would have the Blues working hard to get Kasper Schmeichel from Leicester or bring Petr Cech back from Arsenal.

Butland’s the clear top choice, but the beauty of Chelsea’s money is the ability to bring in two beautiful talents. Who should the Blues target?

Advanced stats site WhoScored has Butland’s season just ahead of Cech’s, with Schmeichel well behind. Reina’s season with Napoli was about the same as the Leicester man.