Football

Barcelona make Chelsea keeper Courtois top target

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Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois is Barcelona's first choice to replace Victor Valdes, according to reports in Spain.

Catalan newspaper Sport reports that the Belgian international is the club's main transfer target with Valdes set to leave when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The La Liga giants believe Courtois is settled in Spain - he's into his third season on loan with Atletico Madrid - and hope to use this, along with the fact that Petr Cech is undisputed number one, to convince him to leave Chelsea.

But the Stamford Bridge club are desperate to keep Courtois in west London, having signed him for €9m from Genk. The Blues identified him as an eventual successor to Cech, and he's since blossomed into one of the most accomplished young goalkeepers in the world on loan at Atletico.

But the report claims Courtois has grown fond of Spain, and would be willing to meet with Barca representatives to discuss a move should Chelsea allow it.

Barcelona have reportedly already reached out to the Belgian's camp regarding his interest in playing for them next season and received a positive response - prompting them to press ahead with plans for a bid.

But he's under contract at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2016, and Chelsea are under no pressure to sell.

Barca also discussed Courtois with Atletico during talks over the transfer of David Villa from the Nou Camp to the Vicente Calderon this summer, and were told by their La Liga rivals that Chelsea don't even want to discuss the sale of their prized goalkeeping asset.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Barcelona
Chelsea
La Liga

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