Courtois wants ‘close friend’ Hazard at Real Madrid

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Thibaut Courtois isn’t shy about who he hopes Real Madrid brings in this summer.

The Belgian shot-stopper told French television channel RMC Sport that he hopes that his Belgian teammate Eden Hazard makes his way to the Bernabeu this offseason, saying that the two are tightly knit on and off the field.

“I don’t know his future, and I don’t know if the club wants to sign him, but he is one of my closest friends in football, so I want him to come here,” Courtois said.

The two spent six seasons together with Chelsea, with Hazard joining in 2011 from French club Lille while Courtois came over a year later from Belgian side Genk. They have both also played together numerous times for the Belgian national team, including a pair of World Cup journeys in 2014 and 2018. Hazard has exactly 100 caps for Belgium, while Courtois has 72.

There’s been plenty of speculation surrounding Hazard’s future at Chelsea of late. His contract at Stamford Bridge runs through the summer of 2020, making this summer the perfect time for him to make the switch. There’s been little talk of him signing a new contract at Chelsea, increasing the possibility of his departure.

Courtois’ future at Madrid is no sure thing, however. With the return of Zinedine Zidane, Courtois has been benched in favor of Keylor Navas. Courtois has been shaky at times this season as Madrid sits third in the La Liga table, making way yet again for Barcelona to run away with the league title. After joining just this past summer, his contract runs through 2024, but should Navas stay as the starter for the forseeable future, it’s possible Courtois becomes frustrated with his role.