Another season goes by and it’s getting clearer that Thibaut Courtois is going to be one of the best goalkeepers in Europe for the foreseeable future. However, the team that owns him, Chelsea, can’t keep loaning him forever and still hope to retain him on a new contract, which means it’s time they’ve made up their minds about Petr Cech.
Chelsea have been trying to get Courtois to sign a new contract in recent months, extending the deal that right now has him penned until 2016. However, Courtois, who is spending his third season on loan at Atletico Madrid since joining Chelsea in 2011 from Genk in Belgium wants assurances that Cech isn’t going to stand in his way of becoming the team’s first team goalkeeper.
The problem for Chelsea in this decision? Cech is a good goalkeeper, and even though he might not be close to unbeatable like in earlier seasons, he’s still one of the best in the Premier League and probably Europe on most days. The two can’t co-exist because both aren’t likely to be happy with spending prolonged periods of time on the bench. Jose Mourinho knows this from up close, beginning the trend of benching Iker Casillas last season at Real Madrid.
The man calling the shots for Courtois is his father, and he isn’t exactly happy with his son sharing time with Cech at Stamford Bridge, saying that it doesn’t make sense for both Cech and for Courtois to go into a goalkeeping competition that might include rotation and eventually someone becoming a number 2 goalkeeper. The young Belgian won’t be happy with being a substitute anywhere, and the same goes for Cech, who has been with Chelsea since 2004.
Atletico are one of a number of clubs interested in signing Courtois, but obviously have the best chances, at least when it comes to the keeper’s own choosing. Jose Mourinho has allegadly said he won’t be selling him to anyone, but Atletico Madrid have answered in reply that they’ll simply go above Mourinho’s head to make the transfer happen because he doesn’t control the transfers issue on his own.