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World Cup 2018: Thibaut Courtois fans flames over Real Madrid move after Belgium’s last-gasp win over Japan

Goalkeeper triggered match-winning counter-attack to take Belgium through to the quarter-finals, but his Chelsea future remains uncertain as he ponders a return to Madrid this summer

Ed Malyon
Sports Editor
Tuesday 03 July 2018 08:22 BST
Summer transfer window 2018: Latest Premier League deals and rumours round-up

Thibaut Courtois once again hinted at a move to Real Madrid as the time remaining on his Chelsea contract continues to tick down.

The Belgian played a crucial role in his side’s last-gasp winner over Japan in the World Cup on Monday night, catching a corner before setting Kevin De Bruyne on his way in a blistering counter-attack that completed their comeback with the final kick of the game.

But with Madrid circling once again around the shotstopper and less than a year left on his deal, Courtois wasn’t closing the door on a move and stopped to speak to Spanish media.

“Returning to Madrid? I am not going to speak about my future but after the World Cup I will see,” Courtois said.

“But for me my children are very important, I have always said that, and they live there.

“I don’t only like Madrid, I also like London and they are two great cities. The difference is that my kids are in Madrid, and they have seen the game and they see their father and they want him to be close.

“That is not to say I’m going back, but for me my kids are very important and I will do something to see them more.”

Courtois’s contract situation means he can begin to negotiate a Bosman deal with overseas clubs from 1 January, meaning Chelsea must sell him this summer to guarantee receiving a fee for one of the world’s finest goalkeepers.

Courtois has remained coy on his Chelsea future as he eyes a move back to Madrid (Getty)

The Stamford Bridge club are understood to be reluctant to sell the Belgian but have looked into the possibility of signing Brazilian No 1, Alisson, from Serie A side Roma, should Real Madrid make an acceptable offer.

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