Soccer NewsTuesday 12th December 2017

Chelsea face decisive month in keeping £73m-rated ace, £22m alternative could end transfer talk

Chelsea face decisive month in keeping £73m-rated ace, £22m alternative could end transfer talk

Chelsea will reportedly be hoping that Real Madrid sign Kepa Arrizabalaga in January, as that could finally end their interest in Thibaut Courtois.

The Belgian shot-stopper has been a fundamental piece in Chelsea’s recent success which has included two Premier League titles in the last three years.

After a loan stint with Atletico Madrid which proved his class, he returned to Stamford Bridge in 2014 and has since established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe.

In turn, the reigning Premier League champions and boss Antonio Conte will have no desire to lose him, but it all seemingly depends on what Real Madrid decide to do next.

It appears as though Keylor Navas hasn’t done enough to convince all concerned that he’s the long-term man for the job despite his trophy haul in recent seasons, such has been the continuous nature of speculation linking the Spanish giants with a move for a new shot-stopper.

According to The Telegraph, it looks as though it boils down to two options. One is the £22m signing of Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga in the January transfer window, or to wait for Courtois to make a decision on his future, perhaps as early as next summer, with the Belgian international valued at around £73m, as per the report.

With Chelsea hoping to convince Courtois to sign a contract renewal, albeit his current deal still runs until 2019, the confusion over his situation has ultimately led to anxiousness and concern over a possible exit.

However, if Madrid complete the signing of Kepa next month, they will surely show their faith in him to be their new No.1 as opposed to signing him and then also bringing Courtois in too for the pair to battle it out for a starting berth.

At 23, Kepa will arguably want more than a back-up role at the Bernabeu if that is the plan, and so it seems to be one or the other at this point.

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