Chelsea to hold talks with 'keeper starlet to ward off Barcelona interest
Chelsea transfer news: Blues to open talks with Thibault Courtois to safeguard him from Barcelona approach
Chelsea will hold talks with on-loan Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibault Courtois over his future at Stamford Bridge amidst fears he could be hankering for a permanent move to Spain, with Barcelona said to be interested.
Courtois has been hugely impressive during his two seasons with Atletico so far, helping Diego Simeone’s side to the second best defensive record in La Liga so far to put them in second place behind Barcelona and ahead of rivals Real Madrid.
The Belgian international was also part of the Atletico team that won the Europa League last season.
Recent reports suggested Barcelona could be willing to make a move for the highly-rated 20-year-old as a replacement for the out-going Victor Valdes, while Courtois himself has previously hinted he would be happy to stay put at the Estadio Vicente Calderón on loan next season in order to continue playing regular football.
That is unlikely to be the case should he return to Chelsea in the summer, with regular starter Petr Cech still performing at a high level in goal having penned a new four-year deal in May.
Now according to the Evening Standard, Chelsea will hold talks with Courtois to clarify his future and could bring him in back in the summer before sending him out on loan again, but to a Premier League club in order to keep a closer eye on him.
Courtois’ father Thierry has previously dismissed reports in Spain that talks with Barcelona have taken place, while his agent Christophe Henrotay says his future will remain undecided until the summer at the earliest.
"Thibaut will finish the season at Atletico,” he said. “He belongs to Chelsea, we'll see later but there is no contact with Barca."