Thibaut Courtois may leave Chelsea sooner than expected, as it has emerged that Real Madrid are still interested in him, as well as Manchester United’s David De Gea.
Courtois and De Gea, both former Atletico Madrid goalkeepers, have been linked with a switch to the club’s fiercest rivals.
United star David De Gea was a matter of seconds away from sealing a deadline day switch to Real at the end of last summer, but a fax machine broke down at the last minute, and both clubs went into a war of words as to who was at fault.
A few weeks after the incident, the Spanish goalkeeper signed a new contract extension with United, which will keep him at the club till at least 2019, with an option to extend another year. The deal would obviously see a massive hike in the club’s asking price for De Gea, and this was seen as an attempt to put to bed any rumours linking the 25-year-old to the Bernabeu.
However, it has emerged that Real have maintained their interest in De Gea, and are also keen on Courtois, but baulked at Chelsea’s massive £73 million asking price.
Courtois is said to be determined to return to La Liga, and despite his ties with Atletico, would jump at the chance to join Real. He still has three years left on his contract at Stamford Bridge, however, and confirmed that he would make the decision to either leave the club or stay once his current deal nears expiry.
He was asked by Spanish paper Marca about whether he is keen on a return to Spain someday, to which he replied saying:
“Yes, but not only for the club (Atletico), but how Madrid is and the whole country.
“When I left Spain it was clear that one day I would return there. I have a contract at Chelsea for three seasons. In 2018, when I enter the final year of the contract, we will assess whether to renew or leave.”
He also revealed that Real faxed him a get well soon message when he injured his knee, while admitting that he cried when he left Atletico.
“What I do know is that Real Madrid made a very nice touch for me. When I hurt my knee I was sent a fax wishing me a speedy recovery.
“When I said goodbye I had a bad time. I had cold blood, it was not easy. I cried. Atletico is a family club. I still feel their love.
“I only see what appears in the press, but for my profile, I guess many clubs look at me. I could adapt to the game of any team.”