Football

Courtois plays down Real link

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has played down speculation linking him with a summer switch to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

The Belgium international moved to Stamford Bridge from Racing Genk last summer, but immediately joined Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan.

Courtois has excelled in La Liga and is reportedly being lined up at the Bernabeu as the long-term replacement for Spain legend Iker Casillias.

"These things appear in the press, but I don't know anything," the 19-year-old told Spanish newspaper AS. "To me the most important thing is Atletico.

"I am on loan from Chelsea and belong to the English club, but I am with Atletico and am just enjoying myself."

Courtois has succeeded Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea at Atletico this season following the Spanish Under-21 international's move to Old Trafford.

Manager Diego Simeone wants to extend his stay for another year and Courtois admits he would love to remain at Estadio Vicente Calderon next season.

"I would be happy to stay at Atletico for another year," he said. "But I will have to wait.

"I am not 100 per cent sure what is going to happen, but I would like it to happen and I think it will. I really like Atletico and Spain."

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Chelsea
Premier League

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