Thibaut Courtois 'close' to agreeing new Chelsea deal; hopes Hazard signs
Thibaut Courtois has revealed that he is "close" to signing a new contract at Chelsea, adding that he and Eden Hazard are encouraging each other to extend their current deals at Stamford Bridge.
The two Belgium internationals were Chelsea's outstanding performers in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Wednesday, with Courtois pulling off several impressive saves and Hazard winning and converting a penalty after Jack Wilshere had put the Gunners in front.
Both have been linked with Real Madrid for some time, and Courtois fuelled speculation of a transfer last month when he admitted that a move to the Spanish capital would be attractive because it would allow him to live closer to his two children.
However, speaking after the Arsenal draw, Courtois -- whose current Chelsea contract expires in June 2019 -- said extension talks with Chelsea will resume in the coming weeks and added that he is optimistic about reaching an agreement.
"I'm just calm and relaxed because I'm tied to Chelsea," he told reporters. "Despite the rumours and everything, I am focused on Chelsea and I'm happy here.
"It has just turned the New Year, so we will wait a few weeks and then sit around the table. I'm happy at Chelsea and a deal is close."
Chelsea are also keen to tie Hazard to a new deal in 2018, despite the player's father, Thierry, revealing last month that his son is keeping his options open in the hope of encouraging a summer offer from Real Madrid.
Hazard's current contract runs until June 2020, and Courtois said he is encouraging his countryman to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge.
"He will say to me 'if you sign, I will sign' and I say the same about him," Courtois added. "I think we are both happy at Chelsea. We both have a big part to play. We have been champions twice in the four seasons I have been here. We can spend our peak years together at Chelsea.
"I think it is important that we keep on playing for first spot [in the Premier League] and a big one for me is that we look to win the Champions League.
"Losing a player like Eden would be bad for us, the club. He is irreplaceable. With the money he will raise, you can buy five players but none of them will be like Eden. It would be like Barcelona losing [Lionel] Messi or Real Madrid losing [Cristiano] Ronaldo."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.