Chelsea are currently sitting top of the Premier League table thanks to their inspired performances on the pitch. However, they are facing some problems off the pitch, as the club are having a tough time tying down one of their star players to a long-term contract
Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been a mainstay in the Chelsea side since their successful 2014-15 season. After a troubling season last time around, the 24-year-old has been back to his best in the past few weeks, helping the Blues keep six straight clean sheets.
Recent reports claimed that manager Antonio Conte was keen to sign Courtois to a long term contract and there was good progress in negotiations. His current deal at Stamford Bridge runs till the summer of 2019, and this is a good time to tie him up to a long term deal.
However, the Blues have now hit a roadblock in this regard. The Sun claim that Chelsea are unwilling to offer Courtois a pay rise unless he commits to two more years on the same wages he is currently receiving.
The report adds that Courtois is now considering his options, with one possibility being to run down his contract and leave the club on a free transfer.
There has been much speculation around the future of Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea. The Belgian shot-stopper may have already won the Premier League with the Blues, but he has admitted that he would like a return to Spain.
The young keeper enjoyed a successful loan stint with Atletico Madrid between 2011 and 2014. Courtois won the La Liga, Copa del Rey and Europa League with Los Rojiblancos, and also played in the UEFA Champions League final with them in 2014.
In fact, it was at the Vicente Calderon that Courtois established himself as a top quality keeper. By the time he returned to Stamford Bridge in 2014, he was even preferred over veteran shot-stopper and club legend Petr Cech.
Cech was subsequently sold to Arsenal the next season, and this might be a decision that will come back to haunt Chelsea. They will be hoping that they can convince the star goalkeeper to stay on at Stamford Bridge and accept the conditions that they offer.