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European giants Real Madrid and Paris St-Germain could be heading for a summer bidding war for Chelsea goalkeeper Thibault Courtois.
It has been reported by Belgian TV station RBTF that Courtois’ father, Thierry, met PSG officials in London earlier this week for informal talks. However, it is understood that Courtois’ agent, Christophe Henrotay, was not present at the meeting.
Courtois has established himself as one of Europe’s best goalkeepers in recent years, and the Belgian has been coveted by various Champions League contenders for some time. But now it seems the interest may be converted into something more concrete as both clubs look for an upgrade on their current number ones.
Real Madrid have had a long-standing interest in Manchester United’s David de Gea, but having been rebuffed several times have turned their interests to other players as back-up, with Courtois often mentioned.
Courtois himself has expressed a desire to return to Spain, having spent three years at Real’s city rivals Atletico from 2011-14. He has also said he wants to play for a side that is consistently challenging for the Champions League title – which Real have won in three of the past four seasons.
But PSG will try to persuade Courtois his future lies in Paris. As the club has shown with its recent signings of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, they are prepared to spend big – in transfer fees and wages – to get the players they want.
However, Chelsea are keen to keep hold of their star keeper. Courtois’ contract runs until 2019 and Chelsea are keen for him to sign an extension. While talks have been put on hold until after key games against Barcelona in the Champions League and Leicester City in the Premier League, the club have already indicated they are willing to bay the Belgian more than £200,000 a week, according to the Evening Standard.
If Chelsea were to contemplate selling Courtois, they would demand a world record fee for a keeper – the record is currently the £34.7 million Manchester City paid Benfica for Ederson last summer – despite him only having a year left on his contract.