Saturday 21 July 2018

Thibaut Courtois admits 'heart is in Madrid' and that he could leave Chelsea if Real come calling for him

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

Jack Austin

Thibaut Courtois has done nothing to quell rumours that he will be joining Real Madrid in the summer after revealing his “heart is in Madrid” and his “personal situation could affect” his decision should they come calling.

Chelsea are hopeful that the Belgian will sign a new deal despite interest from the Champions League holders and he is set to start talks later this month, with his current contract expiring at the end of next season.

The Blues are desperate to keep the 25-year-old but given Real’s frustrations in negotiating with Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea mean they are likely to target Courtois instead.

Courtois lived in Madrid for three years between 2011 and 2014 when on loan at Atletico Madrid and his two children still live there with his ex-girlfriend, leaving him to admit he the prospect of moving back to the Spanish capital was an attractive one.

“If Real is really interested, my personal situation could affect, yes,” he said in an interview with Belgian magazine Sport. “The family aspect, it is priceless. But I repeat to you that, for the moment, I'm busy talking to Chelsea to extend.

“My personal situation is related to the city of Madrid, it's known. My two children live there with their mum. I have my daughter every day on Facetime. She often tells me that I miss her. My son is still too small to communicate like that.

“Whenever I have the opportunity, I try to make a return trip to Spain. As a situation, it is not always easy. Yes, my heart is in Madrid. It is logical and understandable.

“If they want me, they have to contact Chelsea. We'll see. But they never did it. What is certain is that I will one day return to Madrid. We agreed to meet (with Chelsea) again in February because the club had more urgent issues to deal with in January.

“Nothing presses, I am under contract until 2019. Normally, there is no problem, I will prolong. I am happy here and I see a direction that still wants to win a lot of titles. The signals are positive. Just their desire to extend also Eden Hazard, that reassures me.”

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