Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone says he is ready to pay big to secure the permanent signing of Thibaut Courtois.

The goalkeeper has becoming a star for Atletico since joining the club on loan in 2011 having signed for Chelsea.

Courtois is now in his third season at the Vicente Calderon but is likely to return to Stamford Bridge next season to compete with Petr Cech.

However, Simeone has admitted that he is desperate to keep the Belgian shot stopper at the club and is willing to pay big money to see it happen on a permanent basis.

Asked on national television whether he would bid €26m to keep Courtois, Simeone replied: "Definitely."

"For me anything paid for Courtois would be cheap.

"He's a young guy who has a huge future and is on track to becoming one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

"Signing a goalkeeper of his caliber would be a big step, but it will not be easy.

"It depends on what Courtois wants, the club (Chelsea) knows our needs, but it is not up to us, because he is is not our player." continued Simeone.

Courtois has recently stated that he is not willing to return to Chelsea if it means a prolonged spell on the bench.

He urged Jose Mourinho to make a decision on his future in the coming weeks, insisting that he needs to know where his future lies soon.

"About my future, I cannot wait much longer," he told reporters.

"I need to make a decision with Chelsea as soon as possible, in March, but at the moment I do not really want to talk because there are so many games and you must be focused."

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Football