Jose Mourinho has told Thibaut Courtois that he wants him to return to Chelsea next season and compete with Petr Cech for a first team place.
The Daily Mail claims the Chelsea manager has made a decision on the 22-year-old's future, and is willing to offer him the chance to make his long-awaited debut for the club following three successive seasons out on loan.
Courtois joined Chelsea from Genk in 2011 but immediately left for Atletico Madrid, where he has spent the last three seasons. However, his impressive form has convinced Mourinho that the Blues would benefit from his presence despite the fact they already have Cech on the books.
Cech, 31, has been Chelsea first choice goalkeeper for almost a decade and earns a reported £100,000-a-week. The consensus has been that if Courtois were to return it would be at the expense of Cech, who would likely leave as a result.
However, Mourinho wants the two goalkeepers, who are both considered to be one of the best in the world in their own right, to compete for games against each other. Mourinho has told Courtois the competitive environment could push him onto another level.
There are plenty of issues still standing in the way of Courtois returning, however. Firstly there are plenty of officials at Stamford Bridge who believe the goalkeeper will be better served by another season in the Spanish capital.
Also, the player himself is happy at the Vicente Calderon and sees no reason to return to a rainy west London if it means sitting on the bench. Given that Courtois still has two-years on his Chelsea contract, he has no choice but to follow Mourinho's wishes.
However, if Courtois refuses to sign a new contract, it won't be long before Chelsea will be forced to sell the player or risk losing him for nothing. Plenty of clubs have fallen into similar situations when players have just one-year left on their contracts and Chelsea are just 12 months away from doing the same.
With Courtois considered by far and away the best young goalkeeper in the world, it would pay to keep him happy for the foreseeable future.
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