herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Courtois absent once again

Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois' future at Chelsea appears more uncertain than ever after the goalkeeper failed to turn up for training for a second day running, according to reports from the club.

The 26-year-old, who has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid, was handed an extended holiday after finishing third at the World Cup with Belgium.

However, Courtois was expected to return to the Blues' Cobham training base on Monday, but did not attend.

Reports suggested he was also absent on Tuesday, having told new manager Maurizio Sarri he wanted to leave the club before tomorrow's transfer deadline.

Should Courtois - signed from Genk in July 2011 before spending a three-season loan spell with Atletico Madrid - not resume training with the Blues, he is likely to face an internal disciplinary meeting and the potential of a fine of up to two weeks' wages.

Chelsea have so far made no comment on the ongoing situation.

The likes of Athletic Bilbao's Kepa Arrizabalaga, Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid and Stoke's Jack Butland are potential replacements should Courtois depart, but all parties are up against the transfer deadline to get any potential deals completed.

Chelsea, meanwhile, could also be set to make another addition to the squad with a possible loan deal for midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid, according to reports in Spain.

The Blues, beaten in the FA Community Shield by Manchester City last weekend, complete their pre-season games against Lyon at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening.

Chelsea will open the new Premier League campaign away to Huddersfield on Saturday.

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