Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina appears to have moved to cool speculation linking him with a switch to Atletico Madrid by expressing his belief that Chelsea loanee Thibaut Courtois will remain at the Vicente Calderon next season.
The La Liga leaders - who face off against Jose Mourinho's side tonight in the second-leg of their Champions League semi-final tie - were believed to be targeting Reina as a potential replacement for Courtois this summer, yet the 31-year-old believes the Belgian starlet is going nowhere.
"My future? I still have two years of contract with Liverpool, in the summer I will decide what to do. Atletico Madrid? They have a great goalkeeper like Courtois and I’m sure he will stay there," Reina told Spanish radio in an interview that was cited by talkSPORT.
While Courtois' future appears to remain undecided, there is no doubt that Atletico would love to bring him back for a fourth spell at the club next season.
Since joining on loan from Chelsea back in 2011, Courtois has flourished under the watchful gaze of Diego Simeone and established a firm reputation as one of the world's finest and most celebrated young goalkeeping talents.
Such sparkling form in Spain has left Chelsea boss Mourinho with somewhat of a dilemma ahead of the summer transfer window, with the Portuguese having to choose whether he intends to install Courtois as his new number one ahead of club stalwart Petr Cech or whether indeed he is willing to risk letting him depart Stamford Bridge once again.
Fellow 'stopper Reina's future beyond the summer is also somewhat lacking in clarity. A particular fan's favourite at Anfield, Reina was evidently deemed surplus to requirements at Liverpool prior to the start of the 2013/14 season, with Brendan Rodgers having successfully completed a deal to bring in Simon Mignolet from Premier League rivals Sunderland.
And while Mignolet - Courtois' chief rival for a starting role for Belgium - hasn't had an entirely convincing debut campaign at Liverpool, it nevertheless seems highly unlikely that Reina - whose current contract is reported to contain a £4.1 million release clause - will return to the club on a permanent basis following the conclusion of his loan spell