Chelsea slap world record fee on key star’s head to fend off Real Madrid (not Hazard)

Chelsea have placed a massive £73m price-tag on Thibaut Courtois in a bid to fend off interest from Real Madrid, according to reports from the London Evening Standard.

The Belgian has been a huge hit at Stamford Bridge since his 2014 return from an extended loan spell at Atletico Madrid, dislodging club icon Petr Cech as No.1 before helping the Blues to win the Premier League title in his debut campaign.

This form is believed to have alerted Real as they draw up their own summer transfer plans, but reports claim that Chelsea are so keen to keep the 23-year-old that they’ll only accept offers of £73m – a fee that would blow the £41.8m Juventus paid Parma to make Gianluigi Buffon the most expensive goalkeeper in the history of the beautiful game back in 2001 out of the water.

The Spaniards have recently called off their pursuit of David de Gea, and although Keylor Navas is believed to have the backing of the club going forward, the Londoners’ move is understood to be a reaction to fears they may target Courtois.