Thibaut Courtois eligible to face Chelsea in Champions League

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Football News

Thibaut Courtois could make his long-awaited debut at Stamford Bridge next month, but it would be to play against Chelsea, according to the Daily Mail.

The Belgian goalkeeper is still waiting to make his debut for Chelsea since joining from Racing Genk in 2011. He has since spent three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid, helping to establish them as a major European club.

During those three years, the 21-year-old's reputation has grown exponentially and now stands as one of the most sought-after and well respect goalkeepers in the world.

His fine form has helped them into the Champions League quarter-finals and Atletico are facing a potential two-legged tie against former Champions League winners and Courtois' parent club Chelsea.

Premier League rules prevent on-loan players from competing against their parent club but no such law exists in the Champions League meaning Courtois could be trying to knock Chelsea out in the next round.

If they are drawn together Courtois would appear in a competitive fixture for the first time at Stamford Bridge in what would be a priceless opportunity to convince Jose Mourinho of his first team credentials.

Courtois is keen to return to Chelsea but will only do so if he is guaranteed the No.1 spot in between the sticks. Chelsea's record clean sheet holder Petr Cech has held that position for 10 years and isn't going to let go of it easily.

The Belgian international has two years remaining on his Chelsea contract meaning Mourinho hasn't got a lot of time to make up his mind. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico are all reportedly keen to take Courtois off Chelsea's hands permanently if Chelsea hesitate.

Some Spanish media outlets have even reported that Atletico are considering a swap deal involving star striker Diego Costa in the summer.

The first leg of the Champions League quarter-final will be played on 1–2 April 2014.

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