Belgium head coach Marc Wilmots has confirmed that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will return to Chelsea this summer - and also revealed that Jose Mourinho is likely to sell Petr Cech. Wilmots believes the fact Mourinho wants Courtois to come back to Stamford Bridge almost certainly spells the end for Cech as a Chelsea player.
Courtois, who turned 22 in May, kept the 100th clean sheet of his career in Belgium's 1-0 World Cup victory over Russia on Sunday. And, after the match, Wilmots confirmed his goalkeeper is heading back to west London following the conclusion of this summer's showpiece international tournament.
"Yes, he will be returning to Chelsea this summer," the Belgium boss was quoted as telling reporters by the Metro. "Will they sell Cech? Yes, probably."
Jose Mourinho's big dilemma
In an ideal world, you suspect Mourinho would love to have both Cech and Courtois at Stamford Bridge at the same time. Cech, despite his advancing years, is still regarded as one of the best keepers in the Premier League and was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2013/14 campaign.
But Courtois' extraordinary performances for loan club Atletico Madrid simply couldn't be ignored. Without the 6ft 6in shot-stopper it's highly unlikely Diego Simeone's men would have reached the Champions League final or been crowned champions of La Liga for the first time since 1996.
In fact, many now believe Courtois is the best goalkeeper on the planet, ahead of Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer. Subsequently, Mourinho has taken the difficult decision to bring Courtois back to west London to replace Czech Republic international Cech, who may now be forced to find a new club.
Courtois' attitude could speed up Cech departure
Courtois has made it crystal clear that he has no intention of coming back to Chelsea to sit on the bench. The Belgian knows he is in a position to call the shots, even though his current contract with the Blues does not expire until 2016. Real Madrid and Barcelona were both sniffing around before it became clear that Mourinho had reached a decision - but every top club in world football would be more than happy to sign the young keeper if the opportunity arose.
It's unlikely Courtois will agree to sign a new deal with Chelsea until he is absolutely certain he is Chelsea's number one goalkeeper - and that could involve Mourinho selling Cech. Last month it was revealed that Mourinho had put the 32-year-old on the transfer list, although it's unclear whether any formal offers have been received.
Which club will sign Cech?
Arsenal have been linked with Cech - and a move for the Chelsea number one would make perfect sense if Arsene Wenger is unconvinced by Wojciech Szczesny's ability to help the Gunners win silverware over the forthcoming years. French champions Paris Saint-Germain, meanwhile, may opt to sign the Czech as an upgrade for Italy international Salvatore Sirigu.
Should Arsenal replace Szczesny with Cech? Watch the video below to see a few reasons why they might.
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