The biggest saga of the transfer window finally came to a close when Chelsea and Real Madrid agreed on exchange of Thibaut Courtois and Mateo Kovaic. The Spanish club will pay the English club 31 million pounds for the services of the goalkeeper in a deal which also sees Kovacic head the other way on a season-long loan.
For most parts of the transfer window, it seemed that the deal would fall through, given the failure of Chelsea to find a replacement for Courtois. But as soon as the English club signed Kepa Arrizabalaga for a record transfer fee, the other deal went through.
Chelsea released a statement on their official website, which read, "Chelsea and Real Madrid have tonight agreed terms for the permanent transfer of Thibaut Courtois subject to the agreement of personal terms and passing a medical. Subject to the completion of the deal Mateo Kovacic will join the Blues on a season-long loan."
Even Real Madrid came out with a statement regarding the deal, which read, "Real Madrid and Chelsea have agreed the transfer of Thibaut Courtois, who will be linked to the club for the next six seasons.
Courtois had joined Chelsea in 2011, but spent his first three season on loan at Atletico Madrod. It was his performances in these three seasons which put him amongst the best in the business. The Belgian returned to London in 2014, and wrestled the No.1 jersey from Petr Cech. Though, he was unsettled at Chelsea since the past couple of years, and had been touted for a return to Spain.
The final jigsaw of this whole transfer sees Kovacic leave Real. The Croatian failed to nail down a regular spot in the playing XI ever since his transfer to the Spanish club from Inter Milan.
But the biggest talking point from the three-way transfer was the signing of Kepa. His fee of 72 million pounds surpasses the amount shelled out by Liverpool for Alisson in July. He made his name as one of the brightest goalkeepers in the world following his brilliant performances for Atheltic Club over the past two years. The Spaniard was the first-choice shot-stopper for his club, and his form even earned him a place in Spain's World Cup 2018 squad.