Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has made a decision over the future of Belgium international Thibaut Courtois: he wants the 21-year-old to become the Blues’ first-choice goalkeeper next season.
Mourinho admitted on Friday that he has “made a decision” over Courtois, before adding: "But I'm not the club. I'm the manager. I have an opinion. I informed the club about my opinion, not just a simple comment made in a corridor.”
Although Mourinho didn’t reveal his final decision to the press, Belgian newspaper HLN are firmly of the opinion that Mourinho wants Courtois “in his selection” from the start of next season. They claim it is an “open secret” that the Portuguese coach is keen for Barcelona target Courtois, who has blossomed into one of the world’s best goalkeepers during his three years on loan with Atletico Madrid, to replace Petr Cech as the club’s No. 1.
Courtois, who will start ahead of Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet for Belgium at next month’s World Cup finals, was one of the standout performers in the recent two-legged Champions League semi-final between his loan club Atletico and parent club Chelsea. Cech missed the second leg after picking up a shoulder injury at the Vicente Calderon - and was ruled out for 10 weeks on Thursday after undergoing surgery.
Cech’s injury could result in him missing the start of the 2014/15 campaign - and, more seriously, it could also result in the Czech Republic international losing his place in the Chelsea team.
The 31-year-old has been one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers since arriving at Stamford Bridge from Rennes in 2004, but could leave the west London outfit in the near future if Mourinho - as expected - decides Courtois must become his first-choice ‘keeper.