Madrid: Spanish giants Real Madrid have reached an agreement to buy goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea, the club announced Thursday. The Belgian international has signed a six-year deal with the record European football champions.
Real Madrid said on their website that 26-year-old Courtois already has gained extensive experience in European football, noting that he stands 1.99 meters (6-foot-5) and praising his ‘ability between the sticks’, reports Efe.
According to media reports, Real Madrid will pay Chelsea around $40 million to buy Courtois. The move comes four years after Real Madrid signed Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, who gained international recognition with his outstanding performance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and has been the starting goalkeeper for Real that has won the last three Champions League titles. Navas will turn 32 in December.
Courtois began his senior career with Belgian club Genk, where he played from 2009 to 2011. After joining Chelsea in 2011, he was loaned to Atletico Madrid and played for the Colchoneros from 2011 to 2014.
He later returned to Chelsea in 2014 and competed for the London club for four seasons, becoming a standout player and winner of the Premier League Golden Glove (for most clean sheets) in the 2016-2017 season.
Courtois also was named the most outstanding goalkeeper of the recently concluded FIFA World Cup in Russia, where he helped Belgium to their best-ever third-place finish.