Chelsea will reportedly let goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois leave on a free transfer in 2019 rather than selling him this summer.
The Belgium number one is in a stalemate over extending his contract at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of next season, when he can leave without a transfer fee.
And the reigning Premier League champions are willing to let him run down his contract rather than cash in early, according to a report in the Sun on Sunday.
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Real Madrid are long-term admirers of the 25-year-old and are the major contenders for his signature as they as a long-term replacement for Keylor Navas at the Bernabeu.
Courtois played three seasons on loan at rivals Atletico and is said to be very keen on returning to Madrid once his Chelsea deal has run down.
That news will be welcomed at Man Utd, who have been battling to keep David De Gea out of Real’s clutches since 2014.
United currently have an option to extend De Gea’s contract until 2020 and the possibility of Real ending their hunt for the Spain stopper and moving for Courtois instead will be music to Jose Mourinho’s ears.
De Gea put in an incredible performance as United recorded a 3-1 win at Arsenal on Saturday night, leading to Mourinho to label him as the world’s best.
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