Thibaut Courtois has been compelled to remove an online farewell letter just hours after he concluded a move from Chelsea to Real Madrid.
Courtois, who had been with Chelsea for seven years, had just one year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge and had refused to return to training as he looked to push through the move to the Spanish capital.
The Blues eventually allowed him to depart yesterday after they managed to secure the services of Athletic Bilbao keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in a world-record, £71.6m deal.
Taking to Facebook after the announcement, Courtois wrote: “Hello CFC Family. With these few words, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the four fantastic years that have passed. Chelsea FC will always have a special place in my heart. I was only 19 years old when the club showed a great belief in my abilities. The fact that such a big club was already following me was like a dream come true. The decision to first send me away (to Atletico Madrid) helped me to grow into a goalkeeper fit for Chelsea FC.
“When I returned, I was very happy to be part of one of the biggest teams in the world. I fulfilled a childhood dream playing in the Premier League, therefore I am really proud that we were able to win two titles, a League Cup and an FA Cup!
“A huge thank you to all my teammates and technical staff over the past four years who I shared this success and amazing moments with, both on and off the pitch. The team would never be successful without the help of all the other members who are devoted to the players and the club, such as the medical department, kit men and all the others who I can’t thank separately
“Last but not least I want to thank the fans for their great support over the years. I hope you understand that being closer to my kids was considerable in my decision. I wish you all the best for the future.”
According to The Sun, the post was deleted just 30 minutes later, however, following a bombardment of abuse from several angry Blues fans.
The 26-year-old is understood to have agreed to a six-year deal with Madrid.