Sports Burst – Jeepers Keepers

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Kepa is Chelsea’s keeper as Courtois moves to Madrid

Chelsea fans might be thinking that the fact that goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, is arriving from Athletic Bilbao to Stamford Bridge for a world record fee of $91 million – a record held all too briefly by Liverpool’s Allison – means that the Spaniard is an elite shot-stopper.

The truth is that Kepa is perfectly fine but the reason why the cost is so toe-curlingly high is Athletic’s ‘Basque tax’ – the need to ramp up prices for its football product due to the fact that the La Liga club can only source a footballer from Basque origins, due to its long-standing policy. And that can get tricky. And expensive.


But Kepa is on the way to the Premier League nonetheless with Chelsea having paid the footballer’s release clause to bring him to London, get him signed up by Thursday’s deadline and then allow the AWOL Thibaut Courtois to move to Real Madrid and give Julen Lopetegui a nice headache on what to do with the Belgian and the three times Champions League-winning Keylor Navas, who has never been famous enough for Madrid’s president, Florentino Perez.

Find out the latest on this jeepers keepers day by heading to the beIN SPORTS USA Facebook side for our daily Transfer Tracker show – or look back with a latte at your leisure.


Modric returns for salary showdown talks

From a couple of keepers, Sports Burst glides gracefully on to a Balkan of Croatians and the latest on Real Madrid’s rebellious pair, Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic.

Luka is now back training in the Real Madrid fold – the part that is in Spain and not returning from the States – and was set for SHOWDOWN TALKS with Florentino Perez on Wednesday. But rather than a move to Inter – one of the more entertaining summer rumors - the outcome is expected to be a justified salary boost.


And as for Kovavic? At least there has been an admission from Real Madrid boss, Julen Lopetegui, speaking after the 2-1 ICC win over Roma that the footballer is looking for an exit. "There is no deal done for him yet. If he leaves we will have to find another player of his level and we will look for solutions."

If there is to be a Kovavic and the destination is Chelsea then the deal will have to be wrapped up in the next 24 hours due to the early losing of the transfer window.

Tune into the XTRA at the special time of 10:30PM ET / 7:30PM PT for a full look at what Real Madrid could be up to over the next day or two.


Boateng says no thanks to United

Time for everything else. Jerome Boateng has said no to a move to Manchester United – personally calling Jose Mourinho which is more than polite - and Paul Pogba is reportedly demanding an exit – to Barcelona, a club that has spent more money than it would probably have liked over the past 12 months and already has about 14 midfielders kicking about the Camp Nou. Marco Rojo, on the other hand, is reportedly more than welcome to depart Old Trafford.


Milan’s next target is Julian Draxler who is stuck in a long line of talent at PSG – definitely leaving Milan is striker, Nikola Kalinic, who is set to sign for Atletico Madrid over the next 48 hours.


Sloane Stephens and Venus in Rogers Cup return

The Rogers Cup gets continues live on beIN SPORTS (USA only) from 11AM ET / 8AM PT with a double dose of fine US action. Sloane Stephens continues to warm up for her defense of the US Open with a second-round clash with Canada’s Francoise Abanda while Venus Williams takes on Sorana Cirstea.

New Wimbledon champion, Angelique Kerber, and Caroline Wozniacki will also be in action in Montreal in a fine day of top class WTA tennis.




The life philosophy of Sports Burst is that if you are not upsetting someone, then you are not trying hard enough. Sports Burst is a daily trawl and troll through the morning's sports news to bring you fact-nuggets to make you both smile and swear. Hopefully at the same time.