Chelsea stopper Thibaut Courtois has throw down the gauntlet to the Blues, claiming that if the club does not spend in this summer's transfer window, he could leave Stamford Bridge.
This will be disconcerting news to Chelsea fans, as rumours surrounding the Belgium international's future at the club have only grown this season. In March, Courtois postponed the signing of a new £200k-per-week contract amid reported interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Speaking via the Mirror following his impressive display in Chelsea's FA Cup win over Manchester United (making five saves), Courtois did little to deny speculation that he will be leaving in the summer.
He said: “Like I said in the last weeks or months, I think we’ll see after the World Cup whether I am a Chelsea player for next year. We’ll see what is going to happen after the World Cup.”
Courtois has had another stellar season for the Blues, keeping 15 clean sheets in 35 league matches - ranked third amongst all keepers in the league.
His performances have attracted the interest of Real Madrid, who appear to be looking to bring in a replacement for current number 1 Keylor Navas. Los Blancos have United stopper David De Gea as their number one choice, but are also looking to convince Courtois not to sign a new deal with Chelsea and return to La Liga - where Courtois once played for Atletico Madrid.
And it may be up to Chelsea's summer transfer activity - or lack thereof - that ends up deciding Courtois' future, as the Belgian still has one year left on his contract.
When discussing if Chelsea needed to be active in the market to challenge for the title, Courtois said: "Yeah, I think so. Especially if you see how City and United are spending and working.
“The transfer market has gone pretty crazy. Nowadays you pay £80m for a defender, I think — that’s crazy figures. We’ll see what’s going on, and I am sure the board will do what needs to be done.”
26-year-old Courtois will suit up for Belgium during the World Cup this summer, and his performances may determine whether or not Real Madrid decide to make a bid for the stopper.