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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 August 2018

Thibaut Courtois follows Eden Hazard's lead to cast doubt on Chelsea future

Belgium teammates are both reported transfer targets for Real Madrid

Thibaut Courtois had an impressive World Cup, helping Belgium to a third-place finish. Catherine Ivill / Getty Images 
Thibaut Courtois had an impressive World Cup, helping Belgium to a third-place finish. Catherine Ivill / Getty Images 

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has followed the lead of Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard by placing his future at the Premier League club in doubt.

Courtois, 26, has just finished an impressive World Cup campaign, helping Belgium to a third-place finish. Having deflected any talk about his club future during his time in Russia the goalkeeper has now spoken, suggesting he could leave Chelsea this summer.

Courtois has entered the final year of his contract and the London club offered an improved deal reported to be worth £200,000-a-week (Dh972,000) back in December. However, the refusal so far to sign and his recent comments indicate Courtois is considering his options.

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“In this World Cup, I have ignored all the speculation, all the rumours. But now, in the next few days, I will have a chat with my agent and see what Chelsea told him, and then we will talk. But I feel happy at Chelsea, it’s not that I necessarily want to leave,” Courtois said.

“People always complain that players don't comply with their contracts, but maybe they do. I don't think they will keep someone with my qualities on the bench, even if I don't sign. But maybe [staying] is possible, because I like it in London.”

Courtois' comments come a day after his national team captain, and Chelsea teammate, Hazard made his biggest suggestion yet that he could leave Stamford Bridge.

Hazard has been a long-term transfer target for Real Madrid, and following the surprise departure of Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, the Spanish club are expected to renew their interest in the 27-year-old forward.

“I will go on holiday and ask myself the right questions,” said Hazard, who has two years left on his Chelsea contract. “After six wonderful years at Chelsea, it might be time to discover something different. I can decide if I want to stay or go, but Chelsea will make the final decision - if they want to let me go.

“For my career, certainly after this World Cup, I’m at a moment where I might change.

“We all know that I’ve always felt well at Chelsea, and I’ve been linked to all the big clubs. Next week it will be Bayern [Munich]. No I’m joking. You all know my preferred destination.”

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