Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois could be set to receive a fine of two weeks’ wages or £200,000 after he did not report to pre-season training for a second consecutive day on Tuesday.
The Belgian international was meant to return to training at the club’s Cobham complex on Monday but instead opted not to as he is reportedly pushing to join Real Madrid before the transfer window deadline. The player’s children still live in the Spanish capital and this is one of the reasons why it is a major turn-on for him. He was previously based in Madrid during his loan stint with Atletico Madrid between 2011-2014.
Courtois has just one year remaining on his contract with the Blues and Madrid have made him a priority target as they are looking for a new keeper to replace current first-choice, Keylor Navas. Chelsea are understood to not be willing to sell the keeper unless they receive an offer of at least £45 million. If Courtois does not end up being sold this summer, the Blues hierarchy will either have to let him go very cheaply in January or lose him on a free transfer next summer.
Courtois has been first-choice keeper at Stamford Bridge since the summer of 2014 when he ousted club legend Petr Cech between the sticks. Cech has since moved on to Arsenal while Courtois has gone on to play 154 times in all competitions for the club, winning two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup in the process.
He has also established himself as one of the top keepers in World football during that time and this was cemented when he helped Belgium reach the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and won the Golden Glove award.
Replacing Courtois will not be an easy task for Chelsea. Their other keepers, Willy Caballero and Rob Green are not ideal first-choices for a club that will be looking to challenge for a top four position. During recent days, the club has been linked with the likes of Jan Oblak, Jack Butland and Kepa Arrizabalaga of Athletic Bilbao.