MADRID (Reuters) - Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has said he is ready to extend his contract with the Premier League club despite the fact that his heart is in Madrid for personal reasons.
Since breaking into the Chelsea team in 2014 the Belgium international has frequently been linked to Real Madrid, however he said negotiations over a new deal with the English champions are imminent and all being well he will put pen to paper.
“We agreed to meet again in February because the club had more urgent issues to deal with in January. There’s no rush, I am under contract until 2019. Normally, there’s no problem and I will extend,” he told Belgian publication Sport Foot Magazine.
“I am happy here and I can see we’re heading in the right direction, looking to win many more titles. The signs are positive. Their desire to also tie Eden Hazard down reassures me too,” he added referring to his Belgium team mate.
The news is a boost for Chelsea following a turbulent period on and off the pitch, with two heavy league defeats (3-0 at home to Bournemouth and 4-1 at Watford) increasing speculation over the future of coach Antonio Conte and his key players.
Courtois, 25, spent three years on loan at Atletico Madrid from Chelsea between 2011 and 2014. The 25-year-old has two young children from a previous relationship who live in Madrid and he regularly visits the Spanish capital.
”It’s well known my personal situation is connected to the city of Madrid. My two children live there with their mother,” he said.
”As a situation, it’s not always easy. My heart is in Madrid; it’s logical and understandable. One day I’ll return to Madrid. I love Spain, I loved that city, I spent three wonderful years there.
“If Real are interested, they have to contact Chelsea. We’ll see, but they have never done so. If they’re really interested, my personal situation could affect it. The family aspect is priceless. But I repeat, for the moment I‘m busy talking to Chelsea to extend.”
Editing by Ken Ferris