Chelsea Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois Reportedly 'Wants to Sign' for Real Madrid

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05:  Thibaut Courtois of Chelesa throws the ball during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Chelsea FC and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge on December 05, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Real Madrid have reportedly been told "in no uncertain terms" by Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois' representatives that he wants a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, and the Blues are making plans in the event he does leave Stamford Bridge. 

According to Guillem Balague of AS, Chelsea would like their No. 1 to sign a new contract with the club, but Real are planning an overhaul of their goalkeeping ranks, which includes signing both Courtois and Athletic Bilbao stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Balague added Courtois, 25, is drawn to Madrid not only by Real but because it is where his two children live, and Chelsea are eager to conclude the deal as soon as possible so they can line up a replacement, if he's going to leave Stamford Bridge—manager Antonio Conte reportedly likes Sevilla's Sergio Rico and Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak.

Courtois' current contract at Chelsea only runs to 2019, and there have been ongoing reports the Premier League giants are offering to make him the best-paid goalkeeper in the world in an attempt to persuade him to stay, per Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph.

However, the Belgium international has made it clear he wants to return to Madrid having spent three years on loan with Atleti between 2011 and 2014.

Per LaSexta (via Joe Shread of Sky Sports), he recently said: "Everybody knows that due to my personal situation, Spain attracts me. If it is not now, it will be in some years."

Balague's report seems to indicate he is keen to return to Spain sooner rather than later, and the timing could well be ideal for Real.

Real Madrid's Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas eyes the ball during the Spanish League 'Clasico' football match Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on December 23, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO        (Photo
JAVIER SORIANO/Getty Images

It has long been reported that Real president Florentino Perez is keen to replace current Los Blancos No. 1 Keylor Navas with, in his view, a more elite goalkeeper, per Spanish outlet Diario Gol (h/t Le 10 Sport, via Calciomercato).

The 31-year-old Costa Rican has enjoyed great success at Real since replacing Iker Casillas as No. 1 and has stepped up his performances since almost leaving for Manchester United in a swap deal with David De Gea in 2015.

Now, though, with Real trailing La Liga leaders Barcelona by 14 points, Perez may have his excuse to overhaul parts of the Los Blancos squad and replace Navas with Courtois. 

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