Chelsea hope their £73 million valuation of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will put off Real Madrid this summer.
As reported by the London Evening Standard, it has been claimed that the Spanish giants could make a move for the Belgium international in the next transfer window.
The report claims, however, that Real will initially move for Manchester United shot-stopper David de Gea, who they failed to sign last summer. De Gea, of course, signed a new long-term deal at Old Trafford after his move to the Bernabeu collapsed last summer.
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The United man may well be the standout goalkeeper in the division, but Courtois, despite his tricky season at Stamford Bridge, is still recognised as one of the most exciting 'keepers in Europe.
But surely Chelsea's reported £73m valuation of the Belgian ace would halt Real's attempts at luring the player back to the Spanish capital.
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World record fee
£73m, of course, would be a world-record price for a goalkeeper - more than double the fee Juventus paid Parma for Gianluigi Buffon back in 2001.
But the same report from the Evening Standard claims that Courtois is understood to be keen on a return to La Liga.
The 23-year-old enjoyed a prominent role during a three-year spell at Atletico Madrid and it appears that he's now hoping to ply his trade in La Liga once again.
Surely, though, at this stage in Courtois' development, his focus should be on Chelsea. By selling veteran Petr Cech, the club made it clear that they were fully behind Courtois.
Unfortunately, things haven't exactly gone to plan. Courtois was out of the side through injury at the start of the campaign and hasn't been able to replicate last season's form recently.
In fact, in 19 Premier League appearances this term, he has only managed to keep four clean sheets.
With Courtois' future seemingly uncertain, Blues fans will be pleased to learn that back-up keeper Asmir Begovic has hinted that his future remains in west London.
Since Courtois' return from injury, Begovic has hardly had a look in, but it appears that he's not ready to give up on his Stamford Bridge career just yet.
He stated: “(Moving to Chelsea) wasn’t as simple as being No.1 or No.2 — I felt I needed a new challenge.
“Certain things were put in place, conversations sounded good to me and I wanted to be part of a great club and help the team win trophies.
“It hasn’t gone as planned, but hopefully that will change and the future will look a bit brighter.”
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