Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has reportedly failed to report for training on Monday, sparking fresh talk of an exit before the transfer deadline.
After arriving last month to replace compatriot Antonio Conte at the helm, the last thing that Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri would have wanted was to lose influential figures at Stamford Bridge.
With the Blues looking to bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on the Champions League last season, keeping key individuals would have been near the top of the list to build on their strengths rather than be forced to spend their time looking for replacements.
According to The Telegraph, that’s exactly what they now face with Courtois, who is said to have failed to turn up at training as expected on Monday, as he looks to secure a move to Real Madrid which in turn could now force Chelsea into a last-ditch move for Jack Butland in a touted £25m deal.
It’s far from an ideal situation given we’re now just days away from the transfer deadline and the start of the new season, which forces the Blues to scramble to make deals happen.
Nevertheless, it’s an even bigger blow considering the player in question, with Courtois establishing himself as one of the top goalkeepers in Europe during his time with Chelsea and having played a fundamental role in their recent success.
While Butland could be a solid option to act as a replacement between the posts, losing star quality in the likes of Courtois will be a blow for Chelsea if an exit does now materialise.
Following on from their defeat to Man City in the Community Shield clash at Wembley on Sunday, it was evident that there is still plenty of work to be done for Sarri to successfully implement his style of play and get Chelsea playing an expansive brand of football while attaining results.
The last thing the Italian tactician needs on top of that is the headache of whether or not his first choice goalkeeper will still be at the club beyond this month.