It’s a move that has been speculated for a number of months, but Thibaut Courtois could be set to make the transfer to Real Madrid next summer, for free.
The Belgian is one of a number of goalkeepers who have been linked with a move to the Bernabeu in the last few years, with Los Blancos’ President Florentino Perez keen to add a galactico style signing between the sticks.
While Zinedine Zidane is thought to be content with current number one Keylor Navas, rumours of a move for a big name goalkeeper just will not go away.
Aside from Courtois, the Champions League finalists have been linked with moves for the likes of David de Gea, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Alisson Becker.
While de Gea has long been the primary target for the Real Madrid, the Spain number one is thought to be happy at Manchester United and is rumoured to be close to signing a big money contract extension.
Courtois has been offered a new deal to stay at Chelsea, with his current contract set to expire in just over 12 months, however reports in Spain today claim that the Belgian has no intention of extending his stay in West London.
According to Spanish radio station Onda Cero, the Belgian international has told the club that while he is prepared to see out his contract at Stamford Bridge, he will not be staying beyond next summer, leaving the possibility of a free transfer a distinct one.
Courtois, who spent three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid between 2011 and 2014, has made no secret of his desire to play in Spain once again in the future. That desire is only strengthened by the fact that his children currently reside in the Spanish capital.
Speaking to VTM Stadion back in December, Courtois said: “I love my children to death. When you miss them, you are sometimes wondering – shouldn’t I play in Spain in the next few years?
“That’s why I want to take my time to make a decision on that contract extension.”
Rather than lose him for free in 2019, Chelsea could of course choose to cash in on him this summer should Real Madrid decide to make a move.