Chelsea starlet Thibaut Courtois could be set to shock Jose Mourinho by asking for a return to Atletico Madrid, after it was revealed that the young Belgian ‘keeper doesn’t actually want a Stamford Bridge return this summer.
Recent reports carrying quotes from Mourinho have made it clear that the Stamford Bridge boss is intent on ensuring that Courtois returns to west London after the World Cup, but new speculation in Spanish newspaper El Confidencial claims that the 22-year-old would prefer to remain under the tutelage of Diego Simeone. The Bree-born stopper became an extremely important part of Atletico’s bid for the Champions League trophy last season, and was also a key ingredient in the league success they enjoyed. He’s now been at the Vicente Calderon stadium for three years, and it would appear that he has little interest in returning to his parent club, despite the fact that they’re said to be willing to sell Petr Cech to make room for him.
El Confidencial claims that Courtois has recently overseen a major renovation of his home in Madrid, and has told people privately that he would rather stay there than move back to London, where he would have to acclimatise himself to the Premier League. The paper even suggests that Simeone could attempt to use him as a bargaining chip in Chelsea’s bid for Diego Costa and Filipe Luis, as the two deals, though close to being finalised, aren’t yet past the point of negotiation.
It would seem that that specific course of action would appeal to Courtois, who finds himself rated by many as one of the top ‘keepers in Europe now. Though he would more than certainly oust the long-serving Cech were he to return to Stamford Bridge, it’s understandable that he isn’t ready to sever the ties and relationships he has forged during his time at Atletico, and Mourinho may well be forced to grudgingly send him back out on loan if he wants to keep him happy.
If indeed the Special One does consent to another year in Spain for Courtois then it could remove something of a predicament from his already busy mental schedule. As it stands Chelsea need to make a definitive decision between the young Belgian and his positional rival Cech, with neither man likely to be happy to sit on the bench, but it's a decision that could benefit from being postponed given the fact that the Czech international is hitting his peak years as a goalkeeper.
COURTOIS OR CECH?
It’s an enviable position for Mourinho to be in, as both men are up there with the best in the world in their position. Whilst a loyal approach would favour Cech, who has played over 300 Premier League fixtures for the Blues, Courtois’ emergence as one of Europe’s best would give any manager a selection headache, and a good World Cup could just swing it the way of the younger man.