Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has suffered a difficult season for the Blues. Sure, everyone associated with the club has suffered a difficult and troubled season, from the long departed Mourinho down to the car park attendants. Disequilibrium has been a constant aspect of Chelsea’s travails, manifested most obviously in Mourinho’s scurrilous treatment of former team doctor Eva Carneiro, and now further disharmony has come to the fore as it appears that Courtois is refusing to work with French goalkeeping coach Cristoph Lollichon.
Lollichon arrived at Chelsea in 2007, and formed a strong relationship with previous keeper Petr Cech. He became a valued member of the coaching team, and stayed on after Cech left. Courtois, however, while wanting to play for incoming coach Antonio Conte, has insisted that he can’t work with Lollichon, with whom he has had an increasingly acrimonious relationship throughout the season.
The 23-year-old keeper, who missed three months of the season through an injury sustained in training, appears likely to request a move if no agreement is reached regarding the impasse, and could be set to return to Spain, where he played previously on loan with Athletico Madrid.
Should Real Madrid miss out again on signing Manchester United’s David de Gea, they could be a realistic destination.
Chelsea’s valuation of Courtois is £50 million, which would seem to rule Athletico out of the bidding, but would be affordable to Paris St Germain, who are also interested in the goalkeeper.