Courtois 'close' to new Chelsea deal, hints Hazard may follow suit

Thibaut Courtois stressed his commitment to Chelsea following Wednesday’s thrilling 2-2 draw at Arsenal, and said he’s close to signing a longer contract at Stamford Bridge.

His desire to ink fresh terms may also aid Eden Hazard, Courtois’ close friend and another Chelsea player rumoured to be on Real Madrid‘s radar, in his decision to extend his own stay in London.

“I’m happy at Chelsea and a deal is close,” Courtois told the Guardian’s David Hynter. “Has it been a distraction? Not for me. I’m just calm and relaxed because I’m tied to Chelsea. Despite the rumours and everything, I am focused on Chelsea and I’m happy here.”

While Courtois’ heroics between the sticks are believed to have attracted Real Madrid, the Spanish giant is apparently similarly enthralled by Hazard’s artistry in attack. Courtois believes losing the fellow Belgian would be akin to Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Los Blancos or Lionel Messi exiting Barcelona, but hinted that the fleet-footed forward may remain in the English capital.

“Do Eden and I encourage each other to sign? Yes,” Courtois said. “He will say: ‘If you sign, I will sign,’ and I say the same to him. I think we are both happy at Chelsea, we both have a good part to play. We have been champions twice in the four seasons I have been here and we can have our peak years together at Chelsea.”

Following the midweek draw at the Emirates Stadium, Chelsea stands third in the Premier League table, 16 points adrift of table-topping Manchester City. The Blues begin their FA Cup campaign when they travel to underperforming Championship side Norwich City on Saturday.

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