Thursday 20 September 2018

Future of Thibaut Courtois takes a twist after a day of confusion at Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri failed to stage a planned meeting with unsettled keeper Thibaut Courtois on Monday, as the Belgian keeper continues to make efforts to force through a move to Real Madrid ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline.

Sarri confirmed that he wanted to stage face-to-face talks with Courtois after his side's Community Shield defeat against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday, and he suggested that meeting would take place on Monday.

After the player's agent insisted his client was keen to join the reigning European champions, Sarri insisted he would reserve judgement on the future of Courtois until he met the player in person.

"I am not interested in the agent, I want to hear Courtois," stated Sarri. "If Courtois tells me the same, I have to speak with the club. I want only players with a high level of motivation."

However, Independent.ie understands Courtois did not arrive at Chelsea's Cobham training base as planned on Monday, meaning his meeting with Sarri never took place.

While he has not handed in an official transfer request, we understand Chelsea are fully aware of his eagerness to leave the club in the next few days, with Real Madrid eager to install the keeper as their new No.1 in place of Keylor Navas.

Chelsea have been reluctant to consider the sale of Courtois until they had a replacement lined up, with Leicester's Danish stopper Kasper Schmeichel and Stoke's Jack Butland believed to be among the options that have considered.

Yet with the transfer window now looming large, Chelsea are faced with the prospect of selling Courtois after his advisers made it clear he will not consider signing a new contract with the club and his current deal due to expire next summer.

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