January 22, 2013
A couple of days ago, some rumours surfaced about Barcelona having an interest in Chelsea’s on-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois – supposedly, La Liga’s Champions-elect were ‘plotting’ a £10m bid for the player who has been in impressive form for Atletico this season.
However, and thankfully for Chelsea, the player’s father has quashed the transfer talk – but not without a hint of mischief:
“At this moment there is no contract with Barcelona.
A few days ago Thibaut had contact with the goalkeeper coach of Chelsea, who will soon report on his progress at Atletico.
When this is done, we will work with Chelsea talk about his future.”
An interesting use of ‘at this moment’ there, just to make sure Chelsea are aware that his head could be for turning.
His agent, Christophe Henrotay, also seemed keen to tow that line:
“Thibaut will finish the season at Atletico. He belongs to Chelsea, we’ll see later but there is no contact with Barca.”
(Quotes – F365)
Yes, ‘we’ll see later’, how very subtle.
Courtois is due to return to England at the end of this season, and because of his good form in Spain, he’ll do soon from a position of strength. The Belgian is quite obviously an elite keeper in the making, and he will probably want at least the opportunity to try and dislodge Petr Cech from the starting jersey at Stamford Bridge.
From a development standpoint, and because La Liga and The Premier League ask different questions of goalkeepers, he could probably do with another year-long loan – this time within English football – but if there is interest from elsewhere, that could complicate things.
It sounds very much like Courtois’ advisers are gearing-up for a bit of ruck in the Summer, and that they might try and manoeuvre Chelsea into some kind of ‘start or sell’ scenario.