According to a report from Spanish outlet Marca, Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is refusing to sign a new contract with the Blues, as he continues to push for a move to Real Madrid.
Courtois, a 25-year-old Belgian international, joined Chelsea from Genk in 2011, before being immediately sent out on-loan to Atletico Madrid.
It was in the Spanish capital that he began to showcase his immense potential, solidifying himself as the club’s first-choice shotstopper despite his tender years, before going on to make 111 La Liga appearances during his three-year stint with Los Colchoneros.
Courtois returned to Stamford Bridge in 2014 as one of the most highly-regarded goalkeepers in world football, quickly usurping Petr Cech as the Blues’ no.1 option between the posts.
The 51-time capped international has since gone from strength-to-strength, solidifying himself as one of the first names on Antonio Conte’s team-sheet in the English capital.
La Liga return?
However, despite his successes at Chelsea, rumours linking Courtois with a return to Spain have never fully died down, with Atletico’s fierce rivals Real Madrid have long been reported to hold an interest in the Belgian.
Though it is common knowledge that Los Blancos’ first-choice signing would be Manchester United’s David De Gea, Courtois has reportedly been identified as the ideal alternative, with Zinedine Zidane and co. reportedly huge fans of the 6ft 6in star’s talents.
And, as per the aforementioned report from Marca, interest between the parties is very much mutual, with Courtois holding off on putting pen to paper on a new contract with Chelsea as he awaits an offer from Real.
His current deal with the Premier League champions is set to expire in the summer of 2019.