Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has revealed he would be interested in a transfer to Real Madrid as he prepares to hold contract talks with his current club this month.
The Blues are growing increasingly optimistic the 25-year-old will sign a new deal at Stamford Bridge, despite interest from the Champions League holders.
Chelsea are willing to offer him a new contract worth more than £200,000 a week, which includes bonuses, that will see him overtake Manchester United’s David de Gea as the world’s highest-paid goalkeeper.
Courtois lived in Madrid when playing for Atletico between 2011 and 2014 and his ex-girlfriend and two children still live there.
He admitted, in an interview with Belgian magazine Sport, that the prospect of being reunited with them in Spain is very attractive.
‘If Real is really interested, my personal situation could affect, yes,’ he said of a prospective move. ‘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.’
Los Blancos are determined to sign a new goalkeeper and have eyed both De Gea and Courtois as well as Athletic Bilbao stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga in recent months.
Arrizabalaga looked set for a move to the Spanish capital but opted to sign a new deal at San Mames last month, putting Courtois or De Gea firmly in Real’s sights once more.
‘I do not know. If they want me, they have to contact Chelsea. We’ll see. But they never did it. What is certain is that I will one day return to Madrid,’ Courtois said.
‘We agreed to meet (with Chelsea) again in February because the club had more urgent issues to deal with in January. 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.’