Thibaut Courtois has opened up on his summer transfer from Chelsea to Real Madrid.
Once considered a fan favourite amongst the Stamford Bridge faithful, the Belgian international’s relationship with a large section of the club’s supporters turned rather sour following events which transpired leading up to his exit.
Having been given extra time off after his national team finished third at the World Cup, Courtois was expected to report for pre-season training at Cobham the day after the Community Shield defeat by Manchester City.
Whilst compatriots Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi were present that day, there was no sign of the keeper.
Instead he went AWOL in a bid to push through a move to Los Blancos just days before the transfer window for Premier League clubs was due to close.
In the end Courtois got his wish and the Blues managed to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga as a replacement.
However, the new Real Madrid stopper insists he still hold great affection for the Blues and hopes supporters will understand his choices in time.
“It makes me feel sad and obviously they don’t know all the truth,” he told Sky Sports . “I think in March the decision was already made and I thought the club would accept it.
“Then because the transfer was closed I did not show up because I thought it better not to disturb the team and the squad.
“If I did go there maybe, I didn’t want to be toxic, so obviously it is a pity because I love Chelsea.
“I loved playing there and I am happy to have won two Premier Leagues, a league cup and an FA Cup.
“Hopefully it will turn around.”
Courtois made his Real Madrid debut last weekend against Leganes but wasn’t able to keep a clean sheet in a 4-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu.