Thibaut Courtois had been hoping to trigger a massive goalkeeper merry-go-round across some of Europe’s biggest teams, but as it stands, the big man will be staying at Chelsea despite having only one year left on his contract, while his preferred destination, Real Madrid will also head into the season unchanged at the position. And with Chelsea not buying a replacement, the likes of Stoke City (Jack Butland), Leicester City (Kasper Schmeichel), Everton (Jordan Pickford), and Columbus Crow (Zach Steffen) all maintain their status quo — I just made up that last bit, but the kid’s good, as he proved once again in Wednesday night’s MLS All-Star game against Juventus.
No real ultimatum. Chelsea already know for a while that Thibaut Courtois won’t sign a new contract. Reason why they are looking for a new goalkeeper and why they won’t approve a move until they have found a replacement.
— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) August 1, 2018
Things may have turned out differently if Chelsea were perhaps able to secure Alisson from AS Roma, but the Brazilian No.1 went to Liverpool on a world record fee instead.
“I will see them (Courtois, Hazard, Willian) on Saturday for the first time so I don’t know the situation in this moment. I think there is no news.
“Of course [I would like to retain them]. We are talking about top players and I think every club wants to keep their top players and we are trying to do it.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Football.London
Courtois may have his critics, but there are few in the world who are as good as he is. Alisson is one of them. So is Jan Oblak, but there is no chance he’s leaving Atlético Madrid. Keylor Navas isn’t one of them, but Real Madrid will make do with him for another year. It’s not like he’s been preventing them from winning Champions League after Champions League.
“At no time am I going to talk about players who are not at Real Madrid. I am thrilled with the goalkeepers that I have and I will not talk about players who are not part of this team.”
-Julen Lopetegui; source: FourFourTwo
Or maybe Lopetegui’s just bluffing. But combine all that with the short transfer window and the World Cup and Chelsea’s failure to properly address the situation over the previous 12-18 months and we’re left with Courtois doing exactly what he said he’d be ready to do at the start of the summer: play out the final year of his contract at Chelsea.
We do have another week of transfer window left of course, and strange and ridiculous things can happen late on. Stoke are still worried about losing Jack Butland, for example, and the only way he’s leaving is if Chelsea make a move.
“I expect him to stay, I hope he stays. I’m also pragmatic enough to know it’s football and anything can happen in the last few days of the window.”
“We haven’t had an offer which the club feel is financially viable — or I don’t think any strong offer yet.”
“Jack has never made any real moves to want to leave and he’s contracted to us and we’re not even a week away from the first game.”
-Gary Rowett; source: BBC Radio via London Evening Standard
But that wouldn’t be the strangest or most surprising solution to the situation. For that, we’d have to turn to the man who’s played goalkeeper for most of preseason thus far for Chelsea, massive 18-year-old Marcin Bułka. Here’s a poor quality highlight of his best quality save from last night: