Chelsea No 1 Thibaut Courtois has reassured Blues supporters that he does not want to leave, despite the 24-year-old goalkeeper being a long-term target for Real Madrid.
An interview he gave in his native Belgium in March – which he insists was mistranslated by the British press – seemed to suggest he was considering a transfer, and angered Chelsea fans.
But as his club prepare for their opening Premier League game under Antonio Conte, against West Ham United on Monday night, Courtois is keen to end speculation that he is looking for a move elsewhere.
Courtois told the Evening Standard: ‘I am very happy at Chelsea and want to stay. I will try to show in every game that I am one of the best keepers in the world.
‘I know that I didn’t have the best of seasons [last season] but there are things that I have said in Belgium which have been misconstrued in England. It unfortunately has given the supporters the wrong impression.
‘It has put me and Chelsea in a bad light, that’s not good. I have never said I wanted to leave or anything. When it looks like I’m being put against the supporters, it’s not nice.
‘Am I upset the fans have the wrong impression of me? Yes, of course. I don’t want them to think bad of me.
‘In pre-season I showed the quality I have. People may have had doubts about me.
‘But I think in the Euros for Belgium I showed I am one of the best and I want to continue showing that.
‘My objective, together with the team, is to get back to winning the league and show that Chelsea are one of the best sides in the world.’
Chelsea, who finished 10th last term, will be hoping to begin their League campaign strongly, with summer signing N’Golo Kante set to start against the Irons at Stamford Bridge.