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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois interested in Real Madrid move due to 'personal situation'

Belgium's No 1 is in talks with the Premier League club over a new long-term contract, although interest from Madrid could dictate his future.

Thibaut Courtois was in goal for Chelsea's two most recent matches, successive defeats to Bournemouth and Watford. David Klein / Reuters
Thibaut Courtois was in goal for Chelsea's two most recent matches, successive defeats to Bournemouth and Watford. David Klein / Reuters

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has revealed his "personal situation" means he would be interested in a move to Real Madrid despite being in talks with his club over a new contract.

Courtois, 25, is a reported target for Madrid who are in the market for an upgrade on current No 1 Keylor Navas. Manchester United's David de Gea remains the preferred choice, but Courtois is reportedly among the players being considered by the Primera Liga giants.

According to media reports, Chelsea are optimistic Courtois will sign a new long-term contract, which is expected to make the Belgian the highest paid goalkeeper in the world.

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However, Courtois, who spent three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid and whose children still live in the Spanish capital, admitted in an interview with Belgian magazine Sport that should Real Madrid make an approach, he would be interested.

"If Real is really interested, my personal situation could affect, yes," he said. "The family aspect, it is priceless. But I repeat to you that, for the moment, I'm busy talking to Chelsea to extend.

"My personal situation is related to the city of Madrid, it's known. My two children live there with their mum. I have my daughter every day on Facetime. She often tells me that I miss her. My son is still too small to communicate like that.

"Whenever I have the opportunity, I try to make a return trip to Spain. As a situation, it is not always easy. Yes, my heart is in Madrid. It is logical and understandable."

Courtois's admission comes at a less than ideal time for Chelsea, who appear to be entering a crisis after a string of poor results have put manager Antonio Conte in the firing line.

While Courtois has admitted his desire to "one day return to Madrid", Belgium's No 1 insists he is in talks with Chelsea over a new contract.

"We agreed to meet again in February because the club had more urgent issues to deal with in January," he said. "Nothing presses, I am under contract until 2019. Normally, there is no problem, I will prolong.

"I am happy here and I see a direction that still wants to win a lot of titles. The signals are positive. Just their desire to extend also Eden Hazard, that reassures me."

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