Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois wants Petr Cech to stay at Stamford Bridge despite replacing the Blues veteran as first-choice stopper this season.
The Daily Mail reports how the Belgium international has been given the nod as No.1 by Jose Mourinho after returning to west London in pre-season following a three-year loan spell with Atletico Madrid.
Courtois might still only be 22, but he's already established a reputation as one of the most highly-rated custodians in world football, so impressive were his showings at the Vicente Calderon.
His fine form left Mourinho with a difficult decision to make, forcing the Chelsea manager's hand to promote him to first-team starter - ahead of his £100,000-a-week rival - or else risk losing a top young talent with a host of rival European clubs ready to offer the former Genk star regular action.
Courtois was selected for Chelsea's Premier League opener against Burnley at Turf Moor on Monday night, leaving Cech to watch on from the substitutes' bench as the visitors cruised to a 3-1 victory.
In the days since the 32-year-old's apparent demotion to back-up keeper, Cech has been linked with a move away from Chelsea before the close of the transfer window, but Courtois is hopeful that the Czech Republic international will stay put.
Thibaut Courtois quotes
"I want him to stay," he said. "Even if he doesn't play he can be a lot of help to me in training.
"I can still learn from him because he has a lot of experience, he can give me good tips about the Premier League, things I might not know at the start.
"He is nice to me. We are training very well and he is still proving he is a great goalkeeper.
"For the team it is better for us to have two good goalkeepers. I don't have a problem if he stays. Hopefully I can play well and stay in the team."
Competition for places
Mourinho has suggested that Cech will want to stay and fight for his place in the team, insisting that Courtois will not be guaranteed a starting spot, especially with another world class goalkeeper - who already has over ten years experience of English football - breathing down his neck.
However, the youngster is set to keep his place in the Chelsea side for this weekend's visit of Leicester City, and has stated his determination to grab the opportunity presented by Mourinho with both hands and cement his status in the starting XI.
"Always when you are here you have pressure to perform because you are playing in a top team," Courtois explained. "There is always a pressure to win games and to be important and I am trying to do that in every game that I play.
"I came here obviously to play. I know that Petr is a great goalkeeper so there is a lot of competition, but when you come back from a successful loan you hope to play. Otherwise, it would maybe have been better for me to go to another team.
"It is nice that he [Mourinho] put faith in me and it is for me now to prove his faith is right. I need to work hard in every training session and game to gain the confidence of my team-mates and the manager."
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