As per a report from Spanish outlet Marca, Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is on the verge of joining Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Now 26, Courtois joined Chelsea from Genk in 2011, before being immediately sent out on-loan to Atletico Madrid.
And it was in the Spanish capital that all of Europe began to take notice of his immense potential, as Courtois solidifed 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.
And the 65-time capped international has since gone from strength-to-strength, solidifying himself as one of the first names on (former manager) 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 having 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 Florentino Perez and co. huge fans of the 6ft 6in star’s talents.
In addition, Courtois has hinted on multiple occasions that he would be open to a move to the Bernabeu, with the Belgian’s two young children, Adriana and Nicolas, living with their mother, Courtois’ former partner Marta Dominguez, in Madrid.
As such, when a number of reports surfaced in France last month, claiming that Courtois’ move to the Spanish capital was as good as done, it was subsequently viewed as a near-inevitability that an official announcement would soon be made.
However, to this point, no such confirmation has been forthcoming, with an update from Sky Sports last week having revealed that talks between Chelsea and Real had hit a wall.
But, as per a further update from Marca this afternoon, negotiations look to be firmly back on track, amid claims that a deal is now closer than ever to completion.
Courtois is said to have informed Maurizio Sarri of his absolute desire to depart for the Spanish capital, with the Belgian now strongly pushing for a transfer.
As such, with the English transfer window set to slam shut in just 3 days’ time, Marca suggest that Chelsea are ready to sanction Courtois’ move imminently, to ensure that they have enough time to secure an able replacement.
The Madrid-based outlet have even gone as far as to claim that a deal could be announced over the coming hours.