Is Chelsea star Courtois set for a return to Spain?

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Belgian stopper Thibaut Courtois has been one of the few star performers during a difficult campaign for Chelsea, but reports from The Sun suggest he may not be at Stamford Bridge next season.

The capital club have only the slimmest hopes of attaining European football next season, and Courtois’ recent comments indicate that the player’s Chelsea future is far from secure.

With an asking price believed to be £79m, the imposing Belgian would be set to become football’s most expensive goalkeeper by some distance, with the £33m paid by Juventus to prize Gianluigi Buffon from Parma having stood as the record since 2001.

Real Madrid appears the most likely destination if Courtois is to leave the Premier League.

The 2014 Champions League winners were denied a marquee goalkeeper signing when last year’s swoop for David De Gea fell through at the last minute, and Real are 2/1 to make Courtois their man in the summer transfer window.

PSG are second-best at 12/1, and we’re offering 16/1 on Real’s El Clasico rivals Barcelona bringing the highly-prized Belgian to the Nou Camp.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid – the club where Courtois spent three seasons on loan – are 20/1 to bring their goalkeeping hero back to the red-and-white half of the city.

With Courtois having been sensational for Simeone’s side and Atletico already guaranteed European football next season, a return to the Vicente Calderon is set to prove a popular bet.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.