03:56 GMT +324 February 2019
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    Belgium's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois misses a goal during the World Cup Group G soccer match between Belgium and Tunisia at the Spartak stadium, in Moscow, Russia, June 23, 2018

    Chelsea Goalkeeper Goes AWOL in Attempt to Force Real Madrid Move

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    With the transfer deadline looming, Chelsea FC could be forced to use one of their less favored reserve keepers unless they’re able to swiftly find a worthy replacement for Belgian star Thibaut Courtois.

    Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has gone AWOL in a suspected attempt to force a move to Real Madrid, with the Belgian national not turning up for training on Monday ahead of the 2018/2019 Premier League season.

    READ MORE: Russia Midfielder Cheryshev, Forward Dzyuba Named World Cup 'Breakout Stars'

    Commenting on Courtois' future on August 3, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said, “At the moment Courtois is the goalkeeper of Chelsea,” but admitted he didn’t know if the 26-year-old will be staying with the club for the remainder of his contract.

    Sarri also said he hopes Courtois will remain at Chelsea, but later insisted that he only wants “players with a very high level of motivation."

    Although Belgium failed to win the 2018 World Cup after they were knocked out by France in their semi-final match, Courtois impressed fans and pundits in goal, ultimately winning the Golden Glove, which is awarded to the best goalkeeper performance in the tournament.

    He has since been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

    Courtois joined Chelsea in 2011 but was immediately loaned out to Atletico Madrid and didn’t return to Stamford Bridge until 2014.

    He is believed to be keen to move back to Madrid and the prospect of playing for Real Madrid – which has largely overshadowed local rival Atletico – has seemingly pushed him to take matters into his own hands.

    Should Chelsea choose to force him to stay with them for another season, they would ultimately be giving up tens of millions of dollars, as he will be able to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the season due to his contract’s expiration.

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    transfer season, football, 2018 FIFA World Cup, Chelsea FC, FC Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois, United Kingdom, Madrid, Belgium
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