Maurizio Sarri must have wondered what he has gotten himself into. With 24 hours of his hiring, Chelsea’s best player Eden Hazard told the world he wanted to leave Stamford Bridge. Now, Hazard’s Belgium teammate Thibaut Courtois had also cast a huge doubt over his future at the club.
The goalkeeper has been locked in talks with Chelsea over an extension to his existing deal that has less than 12 months to run. Chelsea’s existing offer is worth in the region of £200,000-per-week.
If the Belgium international does not agree a new deal he can leave for nothing next summer , a scenario Chelsea are obviously keen to avoid.
And Courtois, who has made clear he remains happy in west London, now says the current offer on the table from Chelsea is no longer enough following his impressive displays in Russia.
‘I will be coming back, for sure, and I will see what they want and how they say it,’ he said.
‘Obviously with this World Cup, I think what was on the table obviously is different than what I can have, maybe.
‘In this World Cup, I have ignored all the speculation, all the rumours.
‘But now in the next few days I will have a chat with my agent and see what Chelsea told him, and then we will talk. But I feel happy at Chelsea, it’s not that I necessarily want to leave.’
On Sarri’s arrival, Courtois said:
‘It’s hard to talk about it because I don’t know exactly what happened.
‘But the decision that was made a few days ago, I think as a group we expected that a longer time to happen because we heard what the board said to us already after the season and then it takes until now.
‘I don’t think it’s easy for a new manager to come in and shape us in a few weeks. I think fans need to understand we will need some time to adapt to the new manager and a different style.
‘I know Dries Mertens and he told me really well about Sarri, so I’m looking forward to come back and win some prizes.’
If a compromise over fresh terms can not be reached, Courtois has even implied he is prepared to see out the final year of his contract before leaving on a free transfer.
‘People always complain that players don’t comply with their contracts, but maybe they do.
‘I don’t think they will keep someone with my qualities on the bench, even if I don’t sign (a new contract). But maybe (staying) is possible, because I like it in London.’