Thibaut Courtois hard-balled Chelsea on Monday with a preseason training absence. The 26-year-old Belgian goalkeeper has long been speculated to leave Chelsea for Real Madrid, and this stern message to new boss Maurizio Sarri might be the final trick.
Courtois just entered the final 12 months of his Chelsea contract, and with this no-show antic, his transfer might be imminent — to which club though?
Twitter didn’t take long to turn the whole ordeal into a circus of memes.
According to Kiss Kiss Napoli, Maurizio Sarri spoke to Thibaut Courtois over the phone and told him ‘report for training tomorrow, or I’ll use your massive nose as an ashtray.’ pic.twitter.com/FZGxwf4Vox— Everything Napoli (@NapIesAndNapoli) August 6, 2018
Chelsea fans, on the other hand, don’t see Courtois leaving as a laughing matter.
Get out our club @thibautcourtois and never ever look back. You’re pathetic, you’re immature and quite frankly a disgrace.We gave up our all time greater goalkeeper for you, we gave up our hero of a coach for you and you don’t even have the decency to speak.
— Uber Chelsea FC (@UberCheIseaFC) August 6, 2018
Dear @ChelseaFC,Don't sell Courtois please! Keep him and reject any offer. Let him rot in the reserves and wreck his own career. The mug didn't report back to training and stayed in Belgium to force a move! F**k the money! He can rot.
— Younes H-Hamou (@youneshh) August 6, 2018
Furthering this animosity with the Blues is the now clear message delivered to Chelsea: Courtois wants out.
Without Courtois, Chelsea would dive into a troubling pit. If the goalkeeper’s antics prove fruitful, Eden Hazard might pull the same move to secure an exit as well. Chelsea could also be eyeing Liverpool’s Loris Karius given the Anfield club's purchase of Alisson or Stoke City’s Jack Butland. At that point, Chelsea is swapping a Mercedes for a Prius.
In 2017, Diego Costa pulled similar moves, which ignited a battle with Antonio Conte. He successfully returned to Atletico Madrid though, which may have inspired Courtois’ act.
The Blues face Huddersfield on Saturday, Aug. 11, for their first match of the season. Will we see Courtois in Madrid by the end of the week?