Chelsea’s wantaway goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, desperate for a move to Real Madrid, has not reported back for training and the gangly Belgian has been spotted in a Spar store in Tenerife, of all places.
According to the custodian’s agent, the player has set his heart on a move to the European champions and while Courtois himself has not made a statement, it is highly likely that he will echo his representative’s comments.
On Monday, the last lot of Chelsea’s players that made deep runs at the 2018 FIFA World Cup were supposed to report back and while compatriot Eden Hazard wasn’t tardy, Courtois was nowhere to be seen.
His whereabouts, thanks to Spar Tenerife’s Twitter account, were tracked however:
— Spar Tenerife (@spartenerife) August 6, 2018
The tweet, when translated, reads: “We have received the visit of Thibaut Courtois in our #SparMar_Bella. Thank you very much for being so kind and friendly with us. ”
So there you have it Chelsea fans.
It appears Courtois’ departure is inevitable as the truant player has no intention of remaining a Blues player for the upcoming season.
New Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri had declared he would talk to the player first to gauge if he wanted to stay or not, rather than listen to the agent, but the writing is on the wall now surely.
After Roma sold Alisson to Liverpool for a world-record fee of £66 million, Chelsea may be tempted to hold out for a similar fee with the transfer deadline approaching.
The potential deal is complicated by the fact that the transfer window slams shut on August 9 in England while the rest of Europe have until the end of the month to go about their business.
While Chelsea can sell players after August 9, they will not be able to buy any more players and therein lies the problem.
They have little over 48 hours to identify Courtois’ replacement and get him to sign on the dotted line.
Leicester City custodian Kasper Schmeichel has been touted as a replacement, but it remains to be seen if the Foxes will agree to let him go at this late stage in the transfer window.