Gossip: Courtois 'rejects new Chelsea deal to force Real Madrid move', Man Utd 'target Mertens' and Alli to stay

Mertens and Courtois

The long-running saga concerning David de Gea’s potential move from Manchester United to Real Madrid has become very boring for most of us (apart from that bit with the fax machine – that was funny) but throughout it all there has been one particularly interested observer.

One man who has fervently followed every twist, every cryptic social media post, every Daily Star “exclusive” as if his life depended on it.

Because in a way it does. This man does not want David de Gea to go to Real Madrid – because he wants to go to Real Madrid himself.

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The man is Thibaut Courtois, the Chelsea goalkeeper widely believed to be Real’s back-up option if their attempts to lure De Gea fail.

And, happily for Thibaut, failing they are.

The Mirror – via Spanish paper Marca – reports that the Belgian shotstopper is “refusing” to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge in a bid to “force” a transfer to the Bernabeu.

Marca says Courtois, who spent three years on loan at Atletico Madrid, would prefer to move to Spain due to “personal matters” and would particularly like to return to the capital.

The keeper’s contract expires at the end of the next season, and it is suggested that Chelsea could “cash in” on him next summer to avoid the risk of losing him for nothing a year later. Alternatively, they could just insist that the transfer is completed by fax.

Tottenham Hotspur are confident that Dele Alli will sign a new contract to commit himself to the club

Alli ‘commits future to Spurs’

One man who is reportedly more willing to remain in London – despite rumours of interest from Real Madrid – is Dele Alli.

The Telegraph says Tottenham are “confident” their attacking midfielder will sign a new deal with a “significant pay rise” from his current measly £50,000 a week to a slightly less measly £80,000 a week. Let’s hope Dele doesn’t ask his England team-mates what they’re earning during the international break.

Meanwhile, Man Utd are interested in Napoli’s in-form forward Dries Mertens, according to the Star. The 30-year-old Belgian has a £25m release clause – and you won’t find many release clauses lower than that in the current market.

Elsewhere, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was left “frustrated” this summer when Chelsea bid just £5m for former Swansea striker Fernando Llorente, who ended up joining Tottenham for £11.5m (Times), Everton will resist interest in their young winger Ademola Lookman from Spurs and Crystal Palace (Mirror) and Man Utd want to sign the Valencia’s 14-year-old midfielder Harvey Neville, the son of former Red Devils utility man Phil (Super Deporte). But don’t worry United fans – apparently he plays “more like David Beckham”.

@darlingkevin

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