Genk announce sale of goalkeeping prospect Thibault Courtois to Chelsea

The 19-year-old prospect will be loaned out immediately by the Blues but has been pinpointed as the club's long-term replacement for current No.1 Petr Cech
By Gary Niblock & Wayne Veysey

Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is poised to complete a move to Chelsea early next week, Goal.com can disclose.

The Premier League club plan to immediately loan out the highly rated 19-year-old, but it will not be back to Genk as had been originally mooted, with the Blues now analysing other potential destinations.

Courtois' club Genk, who won the Belgian title last season, released a statement on their website this afternoon to reveal that they had reached an agreement with Chelsea for the player to join the London club.

Genk claim Courtois had pushed for the transfer, which will have a value of around 9 million, to be completed.

Sources close to the negotiations say talks will now centre on which club Courtois will be loaned to next season.

Nevertheless, it appears that Courtois has been earmarked as the long-term successor to Petr Cech.

"There are still some details to be sorted out but the deal should be completed early next week," the source told Goal.com.

A statement on Genk's official website read: "Genk have done everything in its power to persuade the player and his representatives that he should stay in Genk but this did not work out.

"After Courtois did not turn up to a meeting this morning during the build up to the match against Lyon, Genk had no other choice but to accept the bid from Chelsea, which is the biggest it has ever received for any one player.

"Genk regret this turn of events and at the moment the top transfer was agreed, everyone here felt terrible.

"Genk already had in mind that Courtois would leave Genk and have already begun the search for a replacement."

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