Thibaut Courtois has a very good World Cup with Belgium — aside from whining about France’s tactics — but at club level, he is at a crossroads.
There is only one year left on his Chelsea contract, after delaying negotiations with the club several times last season. Unsurprisingly, Chelsea have drawn up contingency plans and may be actively looking for replacement. That may be “baffling” to Courtois, but he’s made it very clear that he wants to be closer to his children, who live in Madrid.
Well aware of Courtois’ wishes and contractual situation, Real Madrid have acted. According to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, they have approached Chelsea with offers of €30 million, and then €35 million + €10 million in bonuses. Chelsea have not budged.
As per El Confidencial’s report, Chelsea will only let go for €50 million. It is non-negotiable ‘take it or leave it’ proposition, with Chelsea wanting to use said funds to finance the acquisition of Roma goalkeeper Alisson (latest asking price: €75m) as the replacement
Courtois’ interviews tend to get him into trouble, but his talent is undeniable. However, with Antonio Conte no longer at the club and Chelsea moving on to Maurizio Sarri, whose system demands a goalkeeper who plays well with the ball at his feet, Alisson might actually fit the club’s needs better. All-in-all, it could be a fair trade. Courtois and Madrid get to fulfil their desires; Chelsea get most of the money needed to fund Alisson’s transfer, and Sarri’s transition becomes a bit easier, in theory.