Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has begun looking to replace Thibaut Courtois
Chelsea have begun planning for life without Thibaut Courtois, according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.
Thibaut Courtois is being tipped to leave Chelsea in the summer with Real Madrid looking a likely destination for the Belgium international.
The goalkeeper has admitted he is keen to return to the Spanish capital to be closer to his two young children.
He has already turned down one contract extension with the Blues, with his current deal set to expire in 2019.
And Blues boss Antonio Conte has reportedly begun planning for his departure, setting his sights on La Liga duo Sergio Rico and Jan Oblak.
Spanish football expert Guillem Balaue has claimed Conte favours the Sevilla and Atletico Madrid stoppers but has a long list of possible replacements.
“Chelsea are primed to put a back-up plan into action,” he told Spanish newspaper AS Diario .
“If Courtois doesn’t agree to extend his contract, the West London side would look to complete talks over his transfer as soon as possible, even if the move were not to actually take place until the summer.
“This would allow the club to plan for life after Courtois and comb the market for the best possible replacement.
“Manager Antonio Conte is an admirer of Sevilla’s Sergio Rico and Atletico’s Jan Oblak, but there are also other names on the list.”
Speaking about his future at Stamford Bridge last month, Courtois said: “It is not always easy [being away from his children].
“I love my children to death. When you miss them, you are sometimes wondering, ‘Shouldn’t I play in Spain in the next few years?’
“That’s why I want to take my time to make a decision on that contract extension.”
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