Atletico Madrid have re-ignited their interest in Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois, the talented Chelsea duo who are both being tipped to enjoy big futures at the very highest level.
The pair are currently enjoying a strong 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil with their native Belgium, with Marc Wilmots' side having secured a quarter-final date with Lionel Messi and Argentina following a gritty and hugely gripping extra-time victory over the United States of America on Tuesday evening.
Now, according to The Daily Express, Atletico - the reigning Spanish champions who also made it to the final of the Champions League during what was a fairytale 2013/14 campaign for Los Rojiblancos - once again want to secure the signature of £20 million-rated striker Lukaku on loan in addition to bringing Courtois back to the Vicente Calderon for the fourth successive season.
With both players having excelled during respective stints away from Stamford Bridge in recent times, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho would appear to face a big decision over their respective futures.
Watch: The latest Chelsea transfer news
At first glance, one might assume that Atletico have more of a realistic chance of successfully engineering a deal for Lukaku rather than Courtois, despite the latter's extensive experience in La Liga under Diego Simeone.
While the powerful young striker - who first joined Chelsea from Belgian Pro League champions Anderlecht back in 2011 - has proven his Premier League caliber during prolific spells with West Brom and Everton, he has been engulfed by transfer speculation in recent months and Diego Costa's recent arrival from Atletico appears to have thrown his future into further doubt.
Many Chelsea fans are understandably desperate to see Lukaku afforded the opportunity to replicate such outstanding form back at his parent club, particularly given the ineffective form showcased by the likes of Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto'o last year, but it remains a mystery just how prominently he features in Mourinho's first-team plans given the somewhat fractious relationship that appears to have developed between the two parties.
Courtois v Cech
Chelsea surely cannot be content with allowing Courtois to leave once again, however. The 22-year-old has solidified a hugely impressive reputation as one of the world's most-talented goalkeepers and it is obvious that the time has arrived to allow him to challenge Petr Cech for a starting berth.
At 32, Chelsea stalwart Cech may still have plenty of time left at the top level. However, by allowing Courtois to once again ply his trade elsewhere, Mourinho would surely run the risk of further alienating the talented starlet who is clearly eager to secure regular first-team football on a permanent basis.
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