LNTUP

Reports: Real Madrid interested in signing Chelsea and former Atlético star

Real Madrid have been informed of the Chelsea star’s availability.

Real Madrid’s woeful league form has set the alarm bells ringing at the Bernabéu camp. A 14-point gap over Barcelona and a 3-0 thumping defeat in the El Clásico has prompted fears that things aren’t well at the club. As a result, Florentino Pérez has granted Zinedine Zidane permission to look for suitable replacements in the upcoming January transfer window as Los Blancos look to bounce back and challenge Barcelona’s league dominance.

While Athletic Club goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga looks set to be Real’s first major signing in January, another name that has entered the fray is Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois. According to Guillem Balagué and Diario AS, Real have been informed of Courtois’s availability and the club seems to be interested over a possible deal.

Chelsea signed Thibaut Courtois from Belgian side Genk in 2011 for a reported £8 million. He was immediately loaned out to Real’s cross-city rivals Atlético Madrid, where, he spent three successful seasons, winning the Europa League, the Copa del Rey and the elusive LaLiga title in his final season with the club. Individually, Courtois’s stellar performances in goal earned him the LaLiga Goalkeeper of the year title and the Zamora Trophy twice. He then returned to Chelsea and his three seasons with the London club have yielded two Premier League titles and a League Cup while he also won the Golden Glove award last season to add to his title-tally.

Courtois rejected an offer to sign a new contract with Chelsea in May, a deal that would have seen a substantial increase in his current £100,000-a-week contract. In recent weeks, his representatives have sat down with the club in an attempt to negotiate a deal that would see the 25-year-old earn nearly twice his current wages. However, significant progress is yet to be made. Real Madrid are also looking to replace their two main goalkeepers with Keylor Navas’ form being affected by injuries. Courtois too reportedly does not want to stay at Chelsea, and will ask his representatives to etch out an agreement with Real Madrid. His current contract with Chelsea club ends in 2019.

Courtois has long expressed a desire to return to the Spanish capital, a place he considers his ‘home’. Real Madrid’s goalkeeping pursuits, multiplied with Chelsea’s reluctance to meet Courtois’ wage demands paves the way for the Belgian to make the switch to the Bernabéu. Added to that is the fact that Courtois’ young family resides in Madrid. So, the conditions are well-suited for the Belgian to make the switch, with the majority of his prime years ahead of him.

However, it remains to be seen whether a deal materializes in January or over the next summer with Chelsea’s title aspirations firmly in place.