Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Thibaut Courtois is reportedly eager to move to Real Madrid and will run down his current contract with Chelsea in order to make a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu.
According to Mike McGrath of the Sun, Los Blancos view the Belgian as a “long-term No. 1 and a successor to current keeper Keylor Navas,” and Courtois has told friends he will consider his future at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
Per McGrath, his plan is reportedly to run down his contract while Real’s FIFA-imposed transfer ban is in place for the next two windows in order to reduce his market value.
Courtois’ current deal with Chelsea runs to 2019, and after a poor campaign in 2015-16, he is currently enjoying an excellent run of form under manager Antonio Conte, per Squawka:
No goalkeeper has kept more clean sheets than Thibaut Courtois (7) in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season. pic.twitter.com/purXT9a2YB
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 20, 2016
Matt Law of the Telegraph recently reported that the Belgium international was prepared to put pen to paper on new terms at Stamford Bridge.
But, per McGrath, Chelsea are trying to get him to commit to two more full seasons on his current terms, which is likely an unattractive offer for him.
Real’s Navas has not been at his best so far this season, per ESPN FC’s Rob Train.
If he continues to under-perform, the Spanish giants may look around for a stronger option. And it seems Courtois could well be their ideal candidate.
JAVIER SORIANO/Getty Images
Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Conte is reportedly ready to make a second bid to tempt James Rodriguez to swap Real for the Blues.
Per Neil Fissler of the Express, the Colombian playmaker wants out of the Bernabeu as he is keen for more game time, and Conte is preparing to move for him in January having failed with an attempted bid in the summer.
Fissler added that the Italian believes James will be available despite being a long-time target of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
A big-money signing from Monaco in 2014 after his impressive showing at Brazil’s FIFA World Cup, Rodriguez has become a peripheral figure at Real under manager Zinedine Zidane, making just three La Liga starts so far this season.
He is still a high-quality player, though, and would be a fine addition to Chelsea if Real are prepared to let him move on.