The Thibaut Courtois contract rumors have been a topic of discussion for almost exactly one year now, with the first stories back in late November 2016 getting the ball rolling on a possible contract extension (alongside Diego Costa, too). Both Costa and Courtois had spent much of the preceding many months linked with moves away from the club and while the former eventually did force the transfer to Atlético after butting heads one too many times with Conte, Courtois has remained a Chelsea stalwart despite the seemingly never-ending Real Madrid rumors.
The problem is that while a year ago, when Courtois was only halfway through his five-year deal, there was plenty of time to get this done, that time is swiftly ebbing away, and that’s despite Courtois’s assurances of simply focusing on the pitch and having plenty of time to talk about all this after the season.
The initial rumors from a year ago put Chelsea’s new offer at around £150k, which represented a good 50 per cent increase on the goalkeeper’s weekly wages. A few months of no progress later, we learned the Courtois was looking for something more like £200k, which would put him on par with the other best player at his position in the Premier League, David de Gea.
And those basic parameters of this contract saga remain unchanged, as reported this week by HLN in Belgium, who claim that Courtois wants wage parity with the Manchester United goalkeeper at around €230k. Chelsea appear to be reluctant to go that high, or at least were at the end of last season.
The ball is in Chelsea’s court now. Thibaut Courtois rejected their 1st contract offer in May. Talks on hold since then and time’s ticking away. Still 1,5y left on his deal. #cfc pic.twitter.com/uPvUhDox2u— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) November 22, 2017
Muddying the waters are new contenders arriving for Courtois’ signature, with usual suspects Real Madrid supposedly joined by the likes of PSG and Juventus, with the latter especially ironic after Conte tipped Courtois to be Chelsea’s Buffon.
Speaking of the coach, his stance on the matter is quite clear.
And that stance is exactly what Chelsea need to adopt as well and get this deal done. Soon. Today. Yesterday. Before it becomes a major problem and distraction.
“I can say Courtois is one of the best, maybe the best goalkeeper in the world and he is a player very important for Chelsea. But the renewal of contract is a task for the club.
"He knows very well my opinion and my thoughts about him. I consider him one of the best. He will be the best in the world... maybe he is now the best, but for sure, in the future for this goalkeeper (he will be the best)."
"As you know very well if a big player decides to not sign a new contract it is very difficult for the club to face this issue. But at the same time there is space to deal with this type of situation and to try to solve the situation. In this season, maybe Sanchez and Ozil are finishing their contracts with Arsenal. These types of situations are not simple but every club has to try and solve all these situations."
-Antonio Conte; source: Evening Standard