CHELSEA boss Antonio Conte has provided an update on the future of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
The Belgian shot stopper is much sought after with the likes of Real Madrid interested in securing his services.
Zinedine Zidane’s side have yet to find a settled number one since Iker Casillas left the club in 2015.
Keylor Navas is currently holding the fort at the Bernabeu but it is no secret that they want a new keeper.
Real targeted Manchester United’s David De Gea two years ago but failed to land their man.
And there is much speculation that they will come in for Courtois in January or the summer.
But Conte insists that he wants to keep the 25-year-old at Chelsea, at least until the end of his current deal.
“Thibaut has a contract for next season with the club,” Conte said.
“We are talking about one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
“Me and my staff we are proud to have him as goalkeeper.
“We are proud to create this synergy and link between three fantastic goalkeepers in Thibaut, Willy Caballero and Eduardo.
“I am very happy to have these three players.
“There is great synergy between the players and I want to keep all players for next season.”
Chelsea’s position is that no formal contract offer has yet been made to Hazard, whose current deal runs until June 2020. Courtois’ situation is more urgent, but Conte would not be drawn into commenting on any “private conversation” about either player in his news conference on Friday.
“My answer is always the same: this is a private conversation between the club and the player, and the agent of the player,” Conte said when asked about Hazard.
“I’m proud to have him in my team, in my squad, and I’m very happy to work with him. He’s a really good guy and has a lot of space for improvement, to become one of the best players in the world.
“You are talking about two important players for us. Yes, for sure, it will be very important to continue with this type of player, especially if your ambition is to try and compete for something important.
“It’s very important to try to improve your team, to strengthen your team, and not to sell the best players.”
Asked if Chelsea could realistically stand in Courtois’ way if he wants to join his children in Madrid, Conte replied:
“I don’t know about this issue. For sure, when you are in a great club and you trust in the project, you want to stay. You want to continue to play for this team. I think the family is not a problem.
“But I repeat, this is a private conversation between the player, his agent and the club.
“My only hope is that I continue to train him because I’m very happy with his commitment, his behaviour and the atmosphere the three goalkeepers have created with the goalkeeping coaches. [I hope] to continue to see this situation for many years.”