While Maurizio Sarri maintains that he’s “confident” in retaining the services of all three of Willian, Eden Hazard, and Thibaut Courtois, the latter looks to be in the process of leaving anyway. With just a year left on his contract, that’s not surprising, though it does mean that Chelsea are in a weak negotiating position. A paltry (relatively speaking) €35m transfer fee is the latest rumored price, not even half of what Courtois’ best replacement commanded on the open market from Liverpool just the other day.
But now that Alisson is off the market, Chelsea are looking at a much thinner field of potential options, none of whom would be an equal, let alone an upgrade to Courtois. Still, there are levels among them, with the likes of Gialuigi Donnarumma and Kasper Schmeichel probably preferred over the likes of Joe Hart or Jack Butland. The latter especially elicits a negative reaction, and that will not be helped if Sky Sports are correct with their claim of a £30m transfer bid requirement by Stoke City.
That’s right, Chelsea would need to spend all the money from Courtois’s expected transfer to Real Madrid on Jack “I was beaten for a hat-trick by Morata’s feet” Butland.
But this is the world that we’ve created, and now we must deal with the consequences.