Chelsea may have a new manager in charge after Antonio Conte was finally fired, but the uncertainty at Stamford Bridge doesn’t end there.
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Less than 24 hours after Eden Hazard hinted at a move to Real Madrid and that his time at Chelsea could be up, his countryman and close friend, Thibaut Courtois, is saying something similar.
Courtois, 26, won the Golden Glove award at the 2018 World Cup as the best goalkeeper in the tournament as he helped Belgium to third-place with some stunning saves, especially against Japan and Brazil in the knockout rounds.
Yet Courtois, who has often been linked with a move to Real Madrid, had the following to say when talking about his future via the London Evening Standard.
“Wherever I go, Hazard must come along. We will not let each other go. We’ll see. Now first vacation. And agree with my entourage in between.” Courtois said. “Now I’m going to talk to my manager to see what the possibilities are. All options are open to me. Also stay at Chelsea, yes. People always complain that players do not comply with their contracts, but maybe I will. I do not think they will keep someone with my qualities on the bench, even if I do not sign. But maybe that’s possible because I like being in London.”
What does Courtois mean by that “even if I do not sign” comment?
He has just one year left on his current deal at Chelsea and talks haven’t progressed in quite some time, with the Belgian goalkeeper seemingly not happy with the contract offer on the table. 2
Via the Daily Mirror, Courtois said “what was on the table obviously is different than what I can have” when it comes to Chelsea’s contract offer.
Is he worth over $330,000 per week? Quite possibly. Alongside David De Gea and Manuel Neuer, neither of whom shone at the World Cup, Courtois is among the top three goalkeepers on the planet. He may now be the top after his star performances for Belgium this summer and he knows that has strengthened his hand in negotiations with Chelsea.
Courtois loved his two years on loan at Atletico Madrid as a Chelsea youngster and both of his children live in the Spanish capital, so returning to Madrid would obviously make sense for him on a personal level.
Intriguing times at Chelsea as the Belgian boys could both be swapping London for Madrid.