Getty Images

Report: Courtois wants to leave Chelsea, in discussions with PSG

Leave a comment

According to a report by French radio station RMC, Chelsea will have high-level competition to keep goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois this summer.

With the Belgian’s contract up in the summer of 2019, it’s getting to crunch time for the club to either extend Courtois long-term, or look to shop him and get fair market value in the hopes that he does not run his contract down and leave for free. The report states that Paris Saint-Germain is heavily interested in adding Courtois between the sticks at Parc-de-Princes next season and has “been in contact” with representatives for the player.

RMC also stated that when they officially contacted PSG for a comment, the club denied the report, stating they have not held discussions with any players regarding a transfer this summer.

Courtois has been the regular goalkeeper at Chelsea since his return from a three-year loan at Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2014, making 148 total first-team appearances for Chelsea over his career. The 25-year-old has significant high-level experience despite his young age for a first-team goalkeeper, winning two Premier League titles with Chelsea in 2014/15 and 2016/17, plus a Europa League title and Champions League final appearance both with Atletico Madrid. He also owns 55 caps for the Belgian national team since his debut on the international scene in 2011 as a 19-year-old.

Chelsea currently sits in fifth in the Premier League table 10 points out of a Champions League position, weakening their bargaining power to keep Courtois long-term. However, the RMC report states that Chelsea is so opposed to letting Courtois leave that they would risk him walking for free, forcing him to ride out his contract in the hopes that securing Champions League play with next year’s Premier League finish would convince him to sign on long-term at some point during play next campaign.

This all comes despite Courtois’s insistence in late March that he would be back at Chelsea next season. He gave the Blues an ultimatum of a new contract, saying he wants his future wrapped up before the 2018 World Cup in Russia. “I’m a little tired with talking about my future, all the speculation weighs on me,” Courtois said. “I still have a year of contract and we have to talk to Chelsea soon, but I already know that I’ll be at Chelsea again next year, whether I extending my contract or not, I want it to be clear by the World Cup.”

Potentially affecting this story could be PSG’s Financial Fair Play status. Reports have circles this past week that the French side is under heavy scrutiny by UEFA about club financials, and could come under fire for overstated sponsorship deals. Should the situation progress, it’s possible that PSG receives a transfer ban either this summer or in the near future, affecting their ability to register players that make the switch.

Also affecting the situation could be the status of current Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who is rumored to be headed out of Stamford Bridge this summer after a disappointing title defense. A managerial change always causes upheaval at a club, with players favoring some bosses over others, and visa versa.

Finally, the RMC report also states that the French club is also in discussions with this year’s starting goalkeeper Alphonse Areola about a contract extension, which could affect their pursuit of Courtois. Areola is a PSG youth product and has been with the club his entire career, aside from loan spells at Lens, SC Bastia, and Villareal.

Chelsea 1-1 West Ham United: Super sub Chicharito

Leave a comment
  • Chicharito saves point
  • Azpilicueta scores
  • Hart stars for West Ham
  • Morata twice denied for offside

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored moments after subbing into the match as West Ham United came back to draw Chelsea 1-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Cesar Azpilicueta scored for Chelsea, who saw a pair of razor-thin offside calls deprive Alvaro Morata of goals. The Blues sit 10 points back of the Top Four and three ahead of sixth-place Arsenal.

West Ham is six points clear of the drop after added its point to the table.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

West Ham started on the front foot, and Marko Arnautovic won a corner kick when he dribbled into the 18 for a rip toward Thibaut Courtois.

Willian made a dazzling run at the other end, cutting across the center of the park and down the right flank for a cross that Angelo Ogbonna diverted with a terrific slide.

Alvaro Morata had the ball in the net via a nutmeg of Joe Hart, but was offside when he started his run onto Eden Hazard‘s through ball.

Chelsea was feeling its finesse with combination play, and Hart made an outstanding save on Morata only to see Azpilicueta net on the ensuing corner kick.

There were several chances to win the ball off a short corner that Morata put back into the mixer for Azpilicueta to finish.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

More Willian wizardry saw him drag a shot wide of the far corner inside the 46th minute.

The Brazilian played a cross for Morata to score, but the offside flag was raised against the Spaniard for a second time.

It was West Ham who’d find their equalizer when Chicharito darted into space to belt one past Courtois, and that led to a thrilling finish with chances at both ends.

Courtois: I’ll be with Chelsea next year, with or without new deal

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Thibaut Courtois is happy at Chelsea, and expects to be there whether he signs a new contract before the World Cup or not.

The Belgian backstop admitted frustration with speculation regarding his future, as he’ll enter the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge next season.

[ MORE: Sterling pleads with English fans ]

He wants that settled before Russia.

Courtois, a 6-foot-6 25-year-old, has been with Chelsea since 2011 and made his name with a loan stint at Atletico Madrid in 2011-12.

Loosely translated

“I’m a little tired with talking about my future, all the speculation weighs on me. I still have a year of contract and we have to talk to Chelsea soon, but I already know that I’ll be at Chelsea again next year, whether I extending my contract or not, I want it to be clear by the World Cup.”

He’s been rumored with moves back to Atleti as well as Real Madrid, but is committing himself to the 2018-19 season at Chelsea.

That should come as no surprise, as the player has said his “heart is in Madrid.” He clarified the statement by adding that his family is there, and not necessarily a club future.

With 54 caps and four titles between La Liga, the Premier League (two), and the Belgian Pro League, he can likely name his destination if his club status reaches January without a new deal at Chelsea. It’s surprising more players don’t elect to get to “free agency.”

In a sense: Pay me what I want, Chelsea, or I’ll go wherever I want.

Courtois also admitted that the nutmegged goals against him in the UEFA Champions League versus Barcelona forced him to laugh.

“The first goal is my fault, the jokes on social networks I laughed at. I even sent to a friend, ‘Do you have a net for (between my legs)?’ Insults are not the same. ”

Conte, Courtois, Alonso know why Barca beat Chelsea: Messi

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Marcos Alonso gave a lot of answers in his post-match comments following Chelsea’s ouster at the hands of Barcelona on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League.

Turns out he only really needed the first four words.

[ MORE: Match recap | Quarterfinal field set ]

“They have Lionel Messi and I think they were the better team even though we competed well in both games. If we concede easy goals and miss the chances, then it is very difficult against this team,” Alonso said.

Messi had two goals and an assist in the 3-0 second leg win, and scored in the first leg after entering the tie goal-free in his career versus Chelsea.

In a word, he was incredible.

Italian defender Alonso was one of several players, with Willian and N'Golo Kante sure to be mentioned by many, to put in industrious efforts in the loss, but the critical focus will be on a near invisible Eden Hazard and off-balance goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Both of Wednesday’s goals were put between the legs of Courtois. He wasn’t pleased.

“I don’t think we deserve to be out, but individual mistakes cost us in both legs. The first goal, I did not expect Lionel Messi to shoot from that angle and I was too late in closing my legs. It was a mistake on my part.

“I played against Messi a lot of time. I have already conceded goals like that before. The weakest point is between the legs or a goalkeeper, it is annoying, I cannot hide inside, I have to be a man and come out. I made some good saves too but we go out with conceding four goals from four mistakes.”

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte pointed to a possible penalty when Alonso was taken down in the box, but mostly lavished praise on the Argentine wonder.

“Tonight (and) in the two legs, Lionel Messi made the difference,” Conte said. “We are talking about the best player in the world.”

“Over the two legs we were a bit unlucky,” he continued. “We hit the post four times. In our best moment today they scored. They were very clinical. We created many chances. We are talking about a player (Messi) that every season he scores 60 goals. We are talking not about a top player but a super top player. He made the difference. We have no regrets. I must be pleased for the commitment. They gave everything tonight. We didn’t deserve to lose 3-0.”

In the film “Billy Madison,” Billy forces an awkward noise out of his instrument and points to his rival Eric after the latter’s virtuoso violin performance and just says, “He’s good.”
Something like that.

Messi roasts Chelsea with virtuoso performance

AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
3 Comments
  • Messi scores in 2nd minute (video)
  • Then assists Dembele, 20
  • Alonso hits post
  • Messi completes brace, records 100th UCL goal

Lionel Messi put a pair of goals through the legs of Thibaut Courtois and Ousmane Dembele also scored as Barcelona worked Chelsea 3-0 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday to advance to UEFA Champions League quarterfinals by a 4-1 aggregate score line.

The tie was 1-1 after the first leg at Stamford Bridge, but Messi scored the fastest goal of his career to put the reigning Premier League champions on the back foot.

Messi scored his 100th Champions League, and only Cristiano Ronaldo is in front of him on the all-time table with 117 goals. Ronaldo is two years and four months older than Messi.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The Barcelona mega star started a combination play and deposited a deflected pass between the legs of Thibaut Courtois from a very tight angle.

Chelsea didn’t go away, and Barca showed it can counter just as well as it possesses when Messi took advantage of a turnover from former teammate Cesc Fabregas.

Messi danced down the left and cut across the 18 to find Dembele. The teenager took a touch and blasted past Courtois for 2-0.

Luis Suarez was denied by Courtois in the 28th as Barcelona threatened to turn the second leg into a runaway.

The Blues nearly found a goal in the 45th minute when Marcos Alonso whipped a free kick off the post, but Chelsea would need to find a pair in the second half in order to reach the quarterfinals.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

A giveaway forced Courtois to deny Suarez in the 48th minute, as Barcelona aimed for the third goal which would make a quarterfinal berth a virtual certainty.

Olivier Giroud drew a yellow card in protest when the referee denied Marcos Alonso’s shouts for a penalty kick.

Messi then did his thing again, beating Courtois through the legs in the 64th minute.