Thibaut Courtois could not refuse Real Madrid, says Craig Bellamy


Craig Bellamy says Chelsea have done the right thing in allowing Thibaut Courtois to leave for Real Madrid

Craig Bellamy has described joining Real Madrid as the “pinnacle of football” ahead of Thibaut Courtois’ move to the European champions.

Chelsea confirmed they have reached an agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Courtois, who will sign a six-year contract at the Bernabeu subject to agreeing personal terms and passing a medical.

Madrid confirmed the goalkeeper will undergo his medical on Thursday, with the move calling time on his seven-year stay at Chelsea, who on Wednesday confirmed the signing of Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga for a world-record £71.6m.

Former Wales striker Bellamy, who was a guest on The Debate, admits he is excited by the prospect of seeing Kepa at Chelsea, adding that the Courtois deal was inevitable due to personal reasons, with the Belgian’s two children living with his former partner in Madrid.

“They’ve paid a lot of money now for a goalkeeper [Kepa] they obviously rate highly. The manager is starting to find his feet, it’s still early days for him at the football club.

“The Courtois deal was inevitable, you can’t blame him and he had personal reasons behind it as well. Chelsea have done the right thing because he wanted to go, he made it clear.

“It’s a great loss to the Premier League because he is an outstanding goalkeeper but actually I’m quite excited to see who they’ve got now. It could be a great bit of business for them in the long run.

“It’s an expensive bit of business at this moment, with Courtois’ deal running out. Look, it’s Real Madrid. This is the pinnacle of football.

“I know a lot of Chelsea fans won’t want to hear it, but when they come calling, it’s very difficult for players to turn down.”

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