Chelsea interested in Stoke's Jack Butland

Antonio Conte tight-lipped over Thibaut Courtois contract talks at Chelsea

Chelsea are ready to reignite their interest in Stoke's Jack Butland as talks over extending Thibaut Courtois' contract continue to stall, according to reports.

However, despite his successes at Chelsea, rumours linking Courtois with a return to Spain have never fully died down, with Atletico's fierce rivals Real Madrid having always been reported to hold an interest in the Belgian.

The Belgium global is yet to sign a contract extension in west London, with his current deal up at the end of next season and Juventus reportedly now among a list of admirers headed by Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Madrid have allegedly been encouraged by the delay in Courtois' contract talks and could be poised to make a move for the goalkeeper next summer.

Butland actually rejected Chelsea's advances while he was plying his trade at Birmingham due to concerns over a potential lack of game-time, but that would not be a worry if he was brought in as Courtois' direct replacement in west London.

Conte has now made it clear that he wants to put an end to the uncertainty surrounding his first-choice keeper's future, telling reporters: "I can say Courtois is one of the best, maybe the best goalkeeper in the world".

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

"I like to also give my opinion about technical decisions [internally] but it is also important for the club to face this issue, this contract [negotiation] with Courtois".

Conte referenced the fact Arsenal pair Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are entering the final six months of their contracts.

"He was brilliant. I think Eden is a wonderful player, maybe the best in the league."

Stoke won't let him leave on the cheap and will only need to look at Everton's £30million signing of Jordan Pickford to know they can drive a hard bargain.

"These types of situations are not simple but every club has to try and solve all these situations".

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