English Premiership

Courtois: My 'heart' is still in Madrid

Thibaut Courtois and Antonio Conte (Getty Images)
Thibaut Courtois and Antonio Conte (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois would welcome a move to Real Madrid for personal reasons, but intends to sign on at Stamford Bridge in the coming weeks.

The Belgium international continues to be linked with a return to the Spanish capital, despite ongoing talks with the Blues to extend his contract, which expires in 2019.

Courtois spent three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid before being brought into the first-team picture for the Premier League giants in 2014, although his family stayed behind.

Los Blancos are rumoured to be interested in the 25-year-old, who admits he has a strong desire to head back to Madrid one day.

"My personal situation is related to the city of Madrid," he told Belgian publication Sport/Foot Magazine. "My two children live there with their mum. I have my daughter every day on FaceTime. She often tells me that she misses me. My son is still too small to communicate like that.

"Whenever I have the opportunity, I try to return to Spain. As a situation, it is not always easy. Yes, my heart is in Madrid. It is logical and understandable.

"If they want me, they have to contact Chelsea. We'll see. But they have not done that. What is certain is that one day I will return to Madrid. I love Spain, I love the city, I spent three wonderful years there [with Atletico Madrid]. It is there that I became an adult.

"Atletico was a real group of friends. We went out together and my team-mates taught me a language I did not know at all when I arrived. When I left, I cried. My first days in London were not easy. England, when I arrived, was colder, more business. Now, I feel very good here.

"I understand that the rumours are coming back today, as we are talking about a new goalkeeper there [at Real]. But I do not pay much attention to that, I stay focused on Chelsea.

"If Real are really interested, my personal situation could influence things. The family aspect is priceless. But I repeat to you that, for the moment, I'm busy talking to Chelsea to extend. We agreed to meet again in February because the club had more urgent issues to deal with in January.

"There is no rush, I am under contract until 2019. Normally, there is no problem, I will extend. I am happy here and I see a club that still wants to win a lot of titles. The signs are positive. Their desire to also extend Eden Hazard's deal reassures me."

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