Thibaut Courtois has revealed that Chelsea tried to convince him to return to Stamford Bridge a year before his loan spell with Atletico Madrid actually ended.
The Daily Mail today carries quotes from the player which confirm that the Blues did indeed approach him in 2013, after he had spent two years impressing at the Vincente Calderon stadium.
At the time Courtois was steadily making a name for himself as one of the best young goalkeepers in Europe, but rather than return to the Premier League he decided to stick with Diego Simeone’s side for another campaign.
From the evidence it would appear that his decision was the right one, with Atletico winning La Liga last term and finishing extremely close runners-up to Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
"The first two years at Atletico had gone well and, in 2013, Chelsea had wanted me back but I wasn’t 100 per cent sure," Courtois said.
"Chelsea had wanted me back but I wasn’t 100 per cent sure"
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"I knew a third year in Spain would maybe be a chance to do something special. We did that by winning La Liga and reaching the Champions League final.
"After that, it felt the right moment to go to Chelsea."
Courtois has now returned to oust the long-serving Petr Cech from his position as the No.1 in west London.
Since his return Chelsea are unbeaten in the Premier League, and have established a healthy lead at the top of the table. Courtois himself, who penned a new deal recently worth £100k-a-week, has produced a number of impressive performances for the Blues, and it appears that the only credible rival for his position - the aforementioned Cech - will be leaving the club in the near future.
If he does then Courtois will almost certainly have cemented his spot for many years to come, with the Belgium international only being 22 years of age. In terms of young ‘keepers he’s arguably only matched by Manchester United’s David De Gea, and it’s fair to assume he’ll become a senior Chelsea player before too long.