Chelsea board willing to let Antonio Conte's key star leave on free transfer
Chelsea are ready to let Thibaut Courtois leave for free. (Reuters)

Chelsea have informed Thibaut Courtois that they are ready to let him leave on a free transfer when his contract expires, according to reports.

The Belgium international’s current deal expires in June 2019 and talks over an extension are understood to be at a standstill.

The Sun claim that Chelsea will refuse to sell Courtois to Real Madrid next summer and would prefer to run down his contract rather than receive a cut-price transfer fee.

The report also claims that Courtois does not expect contract talks to continue with Chelsea until the end of their current campaign.

Chelsea board willing to let Antonio Conte's key star leave on free transfer
Courtois’ contract with Chelsea expires in 2019. (Reuters)

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Speaking about his contract situation last month, Courtois said: ‘That’s the thing where Chelsea must deal with my agent.

‘I don’t think there have been any new developments.

‘We have so many games at the moment, and I prefer to focus on the team’s games, my own performances, and there will be time enough towards the end of the season to have talks.’

Chelsea board willing to let Antonio Conte's key star leave on free transfer
Antonio Conte says Courtois is one of the world’s best goalkeepers. (AFP/Getty Images)

But last week, Antonio Conte urged Chelsea’s board to quickly agree a new deal for his first-choice goalkeeper.

‘I can say Courtois is one of the best, maybe the best goalkeeper in the world and he is a player very important for Chelsea,’ said the Italian.

‘But the renewal of contract is a task for the club.

‘He knows very well my opinion and my thoughts about him. I consider him one of the best.’

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