THIBAUT Courtois has failed to report back from post-World Cup holiday and is staying in Belgium as he engages in a stand-off with the Blues while he pushes for a move to Madrid to be near his kids.
Courtois missed Chelsea training for a second day as he waits for the club to decide whether he can seal his dream move to Real Madrid.
Courtois failed to show up for a planned meeting with manager Maurizio Sarri on Monday as the player and club reached an impasse over his future at Stamford Bridge.
The 26-year-old also didn’t attend training yesterday morning, waiting for Chelsea to make their move on deciding his future after making it clear he wants out this summer.
The Belgian international, voted the best keeper at the World Cup, told Sarri last week that he did not want to sign the new deal on offer from Chelsea and wanted to quit this month.
The Italian is understood to have told the keeper that he didn’t want him around his squad if he had anything less than total commitment to the club.
Real have put what they consider to be a fair bid on the table, understood to be in excess of £35million (R607 million), but the Blues have so far refused to do business.
SunSport understands they are looking for the European champions to pay as much as £50m (R867 million) even though Courtois is out of contract next summer and will be a free agent.
Until late last week Chelsea believed they could persuade Courtois to sign a new long-term contract with the club, but he told them the decision wasn’t about money but instead about his desire to live near his young children.
With Courtois remaining in Belgium instead of returning to London, that message now looks to have finally got through the Blues board, who have belatedly started to step up their interest in finding a replacement before the transfer window closes on Thursday.
Stoke’s England keeper Jack Butland has emerged as a leading candidate to come in, with a deal around £25m (R433 million) in the pipeline. – WWW.THESUN.CO.UK