Football

Chelsea star rejects Barcelona transfer rumours

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Atletico Madrid's on-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has dismissed speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona, and is focused on finally making a first-team breakthrough at parent club Chelsea in 2014/15, reports the London Evening Standard.

The Belgium international has returned to Spain for his third successive season at the Vicente Calderon, as he continues his development in La Liga, with the opportunity to play regular football.

Jose Mourinho has high hopes for the 21-year-old, but thought it best for Courtois to leave Stamford Bridge on loan again this year, while his route to the senior side is blocked by Blues veteran Petr Cech.

Courtois is yet to make an appearance for Chelsea since making his £7million move from Racing Genk in 2011. However, so impressive have his performances been for Atletico Madrid over the past few years, that he's already established a reputation as one of Europe's most highly-rated young goalkeepers.

"The club (Chelsea) and Jose Mourinho wanted me back for this season and also considered the option of sending me out to a team in the Premier League," the Belgian told the London Evening Standard.

"But I was not interested in this option, I feel good in Madrid and wanted to play in the Champions League with Atletico.

"I was not afraid of fighting for a spot with Petr Cech. I have no fear of anyone, I believe in my qualities."

With Victor Valdes set to leave Camp Nou at the end of his contract next summer, Barcelona are already on the lookout for a long-term replacement for the Spanish stopper.

Gerardo Martino is reportedly keen on bringing Courtois to the Catalan club, but the exciting custodian is confident he has an exciting future at Chelsea.

"I could have gone (back to Chelsea) and it may have worked out perfectly, but then again I may not have been playing and could have risked losing my starting place with the national team," he continued. "It would have been a risk for the World Cup.

"Next year? I can afford to take more risks. But for now, the important thing for me as a young player is to reach a higher level."

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Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Barcelona
Premier League

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