Is Thibaut Courtois planting the seeds for a move to Real Madrid?
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has let fans know his focus remains on the Stamford Bridge side, but in the same breath declared that his 'heart is in Madrid'.
Admittedly, the Blues are partly to blame due to their decision to send Courtois to Atletico Madrid on loan after purchasing him from Genk in 2011. The Belgian grew strong ties in the Spanish city during his three-year stay and left two kids over there when he headed back to Chelsea in 2014.
Despite his willingness to remain with the Premier League champions, the 25-year-old does have real incentive to move back to Spain and with Real Madrid having expressed a long-standing interest, the Blues should be wary.
“My personal situation is related to the city of Madrid,” the stopper said to Sport/Foot Magazine (H/T the Evening Standard). “My two children live there with their mum. I have my daughter every day on FaceTime. She often tells me that she misses me. My son is still too small to communicate like that.
"Whenever I have the opportunity, I try to return 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 have not done that. What is certain is that one day I will return to Madrid. I love Spain, I love the city, I spent three wonderful years there [with Atletico Madrid]. It is there that I became an adult.
“I understand that the rumors are coming back today, as we are talking about a new goalkeeper there [at Real]. But I do not pay much attention to that, I stay focused on Chelsea.”
Courtois also revealed that renewal talks are heading in a positive direction, also noting that the Blues' intention to renew compatriot Eden Hazard's deal is a huge factor.
“We agreed to meet again in February because the club had more urgent issues to deal with in January,” he added.
“There is no rush, I am under contract until 2019. Normally, there is no problem, I will extend. I am happy here and I see a club that still wants to win a lot of titles. The signs are positive.
“Their desire to also extend Eden Hazard's deal reassures me.”