Thibaut Courtois has indicated his willingness to extend his stay at Chelsea.
The Belgium goalkeeper’s contract expires in June 2019 and he has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.
Courtois also says “irreplaceable” compatriot Eden Hazard is eager to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge too. Hazard’s deal runs until 2020.
“I’m happy at Chelsea and a deal is close,” Courtois said in the London Evening Standard.
“Has it been a distraction? Not for me. I’m just calm and relaxed because I’m tied to Chelsea.
“Despite the rumours and everything, I am focused on Chelsea and I’m happy here.
“Do Eden and I encourage each other to sign? Yes. He will say ‘if you sign, I will sign’ and I say the same to him.
“I think we are both happy at Chelsea, we both have a good part to play. We have been champions twice in the four seasons I have been here and can have our peak years together at Chelsea.”
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Man of the match!
What a performance from @thibautcourtois yesterday!
1:22 PM – Jan 4, 2018
Should Courtois and Chelsea fail to agree a new deal by the summer, the Blues could sell the goalkeeper or they would risk losing him for free in 2019.
Courtois showed his value in Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw at Arsenal, making a number of fine saves.
But the goalkeeper reckons Hazard could not be replaced, even if he is sold for an astronomical fee, with Real rumoured to be courting the playmaker.
“Losing a player like Eden would be bad for us, the club,” Courtois added.
“Eden is irreplaceable. With the money he will raise, you can buy five players but none of them will be like Eden.
“It would be like Barcelona losing Lionel Messi or Real Madrid losing Cristiano Ronaldo.
“If you excel, there will always be teams interested in signing the biggest players.
“But that’s why if Chelsea have ambition to be the best club in the world, these kind of players have to stay.”