The rumors of Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois pushing for an exit are gaining steam. And unfortunately for the Blues, the transfer window closes for them on Thursday.
The Blues do not have to sell Courtois, of course. Yet according to The Telegraph’s Matt Law, he didn’t report to Chelsea on Monday. The hope for him, it seems, is to force a move to Real Madrid. That goes hand in hand with comments his agent, Christophe Henrotay, made a couple of days ago. Per theScore’s Agence France-Presse, the shot-stopper wants to move back to Spain to be with his family.
“I have been reading everywhere that Chelsea are saying it is up to Thibaut, but he has made it clear to the club that the best option for him is to move to Madrid,” Henrotay said in an interview. “For him, this is a big decision because he wants to be near his family, and there is an offer in place for Chelsea to accept.”
And while they accept that there will be backlash, it’s a personal choice.
“It is understandable people might be upset because he wants to leave the club, we accept that. But this is a human decision based on someone wanting to be close to his children – and that is a reasonable thing too.”
Here’s the rub, though. Courtois’ contract only runs through June of next season. Therefore, Real are reportedly offering just £35 million for his services. Some perspective: Liverpool just brought Roma’s Alisson aboard for a record £66.9 million. Given Courtois’ track record, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that Chelsea should fetch close to that for their own goalkeeper. Yet the fact that he wants to go coupled with only one year remaining on his contract means Chelsea doesn’t have much leverage.
Regardless of what happens, the club has to decide quickly. They can still sell Courtois after Thursday’s deadline, but they would need to bring a replacement in before then. They could also decide to keep him, but we know how messy that can get.In the meantime, they’re coming off a fifth-place finish in the Premier League. That means they won’t be playing in the Champions League this coming season.
And losing Courtois won’t increase their odds of getting back.