Transfer News: Thibaut Courtois on Barcelona Radar
However, quotes from the player suggest that he might follow David Luiz’ path in rejecting the Catalan club.
According to reports in Spain, Chelsea have received an enquiry for Belgian goalkeeper Thubaut Courtois. The 21-year old is on loan at Atletico Madrid for the following season having impressed for them in the previous two seasons; both on loan.
Victor Valdes, Barcelona’s current stopper, is expected to leave the Camp Nou at the end of the season, and Marca claim that Courtois is the first choice to replace him.
At just 21, Courtois is now a full Belgian international and is also first choice at that level. Atletico were interested in making the loan move permanent at various stages over the past two years, but Chelsea highly regard the youngster and it is thought he is to be the natural successor to Petr Cech in the Chelsea side.
In particular, new Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who’s Real Madrid side played Courtois a number of times in La Liga, is thought to be an admirer of the ‘keeper, and even considered keeping him in the squad for this season.
But the young goalkeeper was keen to continue applying his trade in La Liga and gaining that experience that could see him challenge Petr Cech next season at Stamford Bridge.
“I’m not afraid of fighting for my place with Cech,” Courtois told Belgian newspaper DH. “I’m not afraid of anyone. I have faith in my ability and I know that Mourinho doesn’t let a player’s status affect his selection decisions.
“Going back to Chelsea [this season] would have been a gamble. I could have played, and that would have been perfect. But I also might not have played and could have risked losing my place in the Belgium team. With the World Cup coming up, that would have been a risk.”
“The club [Chelsea] and Jose Mourinho wanted me to return for this season,” Courtois added. “The management also considered sending me out on loan for a season at another Premier League club. But I didn’t fancy that option. I feel good in Madrid and I wanted to play in the Champions League with Atletico. “Next year I could be in a position to take more risks. But, as a young player, what’s important for now is to keep playing to get to a better level.”