Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is currently on loan from Premier League table toppers Chelsea, has played down reports that he will join Real Madrid in 2016.
The 21-year-old Courtois has been on loan at Atletico Madrid from Chelsea since 2011 and is scheduled to return to Stamford Bridge in the summer after Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho revealed recently that another loan spell was unlikely.
The Belgian international’s long term future has been subject to intense speculation and there have been reports in Spain (Spanish radio station Cadena Ser) claiming that he will move to Real Madrid on a free transfer when his deal with Chelsea runs out in 2016 if they are unable to convince them to part with the youngster in the summer.
Courtois’ father played down the suggestions on Monday insisting that there is no agreement for Courtois to join Real Madrid in 2016 as he has yet to hold talks with Chelsea about his future. He dismissed the rumors as an attempt to unsettle his son and Real’s title rivals Atletico, telling the Belgian press that there have been no talks yet with Chelsea.
Thierry Courtois was quoted as telling La Derniere Heure:
“It’s an attempt to destabilise Atletico.
“There hasn’t been any contact with Real. Our negotiations with Chelsea still have to start.
“And Chelsea would never let him go that way, when his contract has expired.
Thibaut is now focused on the season with Atletico and the Champions League.”
Now, Courtois himself has come out to the press clarifying those rumors, stating that he has not decided on his future. Speaking to Sky Sports 1, he said:
“At the moment, it is not clear.
“I have a two-year contract with them and at the end of the season we will see.
“I have a contract with Atletico Madrid until the end of the season and I am focused on them.
“At the end of the season we will talk with (Chelsea manager) Jose Mourinho and the Chelsea board members.
“I have a contract with them, so no problem for me.”
Courtois is regarded as one of the finest young goalkeepers in the world and given the length of time he has spent in the Spanish capital while on loan at Atletico, there have been suggestions that the captal side themselves are keep on making the move permanent.
While the rumors suggested that he might be part of any deal that would see Atletico striker Diego Costa moving to Stamford Bridge in the summer, Mourinho is unlikely to let the talented Belgian go the other way, and would prefer a direct cash deal instead of a player swap.
There have been calls to entrust Courtois with the role of the first choice goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge and the current indications of Mourinho wanting to bring the Belgian back to London would suggest as such.
He is unlikely to be happy with a role on the Chelsea bench and hence, his arrival in the summer could mean the departure of long-serving 31-year old Czech international Petr Cech who has been Chelsea’s first choice since 2004.