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Chelsea, Courtois agree to shelve contract talks for another month — report

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The Evening Standard reports that contract talks between the club and one of the best goalkeepers in the world have been delayed until mid-March.

Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

While the report makes it clear — the actual report, not the headline — that Chelsea and Thibaut Courtois have mutually agreed to delay contract talks yet again, with that apparent synergy probably a good sign that the delay isn’t due to a significant change of heart from either side (i.e. Courtois content at club), it’s obviously very easy to construe this development as a sign that Courtois’s time at Chelsea is coming to an end and his reign as Real Madrid goalkeeper is set to begin.

It probably won’t take long for someone to make the connection with the recent rumor that David De Gea is set for a new extension at Manchester United, presumably taking him briefly off the list of goalkeepers constantly linked with the Spanish giants.

Courtois’s contract unfortunately appears to be trending the opposite way. January talks turned into February talks, and with only a day left in that month, have now turned into March talks. Simon Johnson’s report in the Evening Standard puts their resumption at around mid-March, so after the current run of massive games and the start of the first FIFA international break of the year.

While that makes sense in terms of timing and focus, the delay does not look good, especially if the start of Eden Hazard’s contract talks hinge on it as well (though just yesterday the Mail ran a story that Chelsea are ready to offer, finally, that £300k deal, though more reliable sources have been mum on that so far).