Cesc Fabregas considers Chelsea team-mate Thibaut Courtois to be “the best goalkeeper in the world” and is not surprised to learn of reported interest in his services from Real Madrid.
The Belgium international is widely considered to be one of the finest performers on the planet in his chosen position.
At just 24 years of age, he also boasts plenty of potential for further improvement.
It is his ability to provide a reliable last line of defence in the present and future which makes Courtois such an appealing proposition.
Chelsea are delighted to have him on their books, but reports of imminent offers being prepared from the Santiago Bernabeu continue to rumble on.
Fabregas acknowledges that such talk will always surround players of Courtois’ undoubted talent, but he hopes to see the speculation ended by a long-term commitment to the Chelsea cause.
The World Cup-winning midfielder told Cadena SER: “[Real’s interest] wouldn’t surprise me at all because Courtois is the best goalkeeper in the world.
“It’s normal that the best teams in the world want the best goalkeeper in the world.
“Chelsea is a top club and, for the future of this team, Thibaut is a very, very important player.
“That is more so considering Chelsea’s future aspirations in terms of competing in the Champions League next season and winning the Premier League title.
“You need the best players to compete for the top trophies and Thibaut is one of them.”
Courtois has helped Chelsea to open up a commanding lead at the top of the Premier League table this season with a division-high 13 clean sheets.