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Chelsea want new Courtois deal -- and soon

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Paul Gilham

Your response to that headline should probably be something along the lines of, 'Yes. Of course they do.' That Chelsea want to secure Thibaut Courtois' future is hardly an open secret*: he's clearly the best young goalkeeper in the world right now, his contract is two years from running down, and he's just been installed as the club's first-choice goalkeeper. Indeed, a contract offer has been on the table for at least six months now, and it's Courtois himself who's been blocking it.

*Although the 'within the month' timing is new.

It's pretty easy to guess why, and it's exactly the same reason Chelsea want him to stay: he's one of the most coveted talents in football and he would have a glut of suitors were he to be put on the open market. Stalling puts pressure on the club without weakening his position, and it's part of what's made him first-choice at the club -- it's far from clear that he's actually a better goalkeeper for a possession side than Petr Cech at the moment thanks to the veteran's superior distribution.

But now the transfer window is over and Courtois has got what he wants, which is to not be on the bench, it's difficult to see what would keep him from signing a new deal. If his intention was to leave Chelsea he'd already have left this summer, so it's hard to imagine much ill-will towards the club ... but at the same time this is taking far too long. Sign the darn contact, Thibaut. This has been dragging on way too long.