Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will attend this month’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid to run the rule over his goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is poised to replace Petr Cech as the Blues’ number one at Stamford Bridge next season.
The Telegraph claim Mourinho will fly to Lisbon for the showpiece final on May 24, but it’s believed the Portuguese coach has already made the decision to use Belgium international Courtois as his first-choice goalkeeper from the start of next season. The 22-year-old has cemented his status as the best ‘keeper in Spain during his three one-year loan spells with Atletico Madrid, who could end the season with a La Liga and Champions League double.
Atletico are keen to secure the services of Courtois - valued at around £20m - for another season, while Barcelona and Real Madrid are also interested in signing the world-class Belgian. Mourinho knows precisely how good Courtois is - and will even consider allowing Cech to leave the Bridge if the Czech Republic international is not prepared to play the role of back-up goalkeeper.
Cech faces the difficult - and perhaps impossible - job of regaining the goalkeeping gloves from Courtois once he has made a full recovery from his shoulder surgery in August. It could meant that the 31-year-old, who remains one of Europe’s best goalkeepers, could leave the west London outfit before this summer’s transfer window closes on September 2.
Mourinho will also be keeping a close eye on Courtois’ Atletico Madrid team-mate Diego Costa, who is set to complete a £32m move to Stamford Bridge this summer. While reports have also linked the Blues with a move for Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, the Germany international who has recently returned from a long injury lay-off.
Who else should Mourinho be keeping an eye out for in Lisbon this month? Tell us in the comments section below.