Courtois has gone AWOL in a bid to force a move to Real Madrid this summer after agreeing terms with the Spanish club
Kepa Arrizabalaga of Spain is a target to replace Courtois (Image: David Ramos – FIFA)
Chelsea have enquired about Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga as they widen the search for Thibault Courtois’ replacement.
Courtois has gone AWOL in a bid to force a move to Real Madrid this summer rather than stay and see out the final year of his contract.
He defied the club with a no-show yesterday when he was due to return to the club’s Cobham base having also failed to attend the Community Shield on Sunday.
Courtois, 26, has informed new boss Maurizio Sarri he wants to leave Stamford Bridge and has already agreed terms with Madrid but his hopes of getting a move depend on Chelsea finding a new No 1.
Time is running out with the transfer window in England closing on Thursday at 5pm.
Madrid, meanwhile, have time on their hands to tie up a deal for Courtois as the Spanish window is open until the end of the month.
Chelsea have been keeping tabs on Stoke’s £30m-rated Jack Butland, AC Milan’s Pepe Reina, who played under Sarri at Napoli and Spain international Kepa has now also been sounded out.
The 23-year-old was previously a target for Real Madrid but ended up signing a new contract in January which runs until 2025 and contains a whopping £71.5 million buy out clause.
Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak, one of the world’s best keepers, is also in Chelsea’s sights but he wants to stay in Spain.