According to reports that originate in England, Barcelona have identified Thibaut Courtois as their number one target to replace the departing Victor Valdés in goal. Courtois has been excellent in goal for Atletico Madrid over the past season and a half and – at present – the Belgian is on course to win this season’s Zamora trophy, which is of course currently held by Victor Valdés. However, Courtois’ spell in the Spanish capital is coming to an end and Barcelona are said to be preparing a £10 million bid, which they hope will be enough to persuade Chelsea to part ways with one of their most talented young stars.
On the other hand, this particular rumour originated in The Sun, and is devoid of any sources, quotes or any indication of interest whatsoever – other than that Barcelona are looking for a new goalkeeper, and that Courtois also plays in goal.
Signed from Genk for £8 million in 2011, Courtois is believed to be Petr Cech’s long-term successor in goal at Stamford Bridge, but there are question marks over his readiness to “step up” and start in the Premier League. Therefore, once his loan move to Atletico Madrid expires, what exactly will Chelsea do with Thibaut Courtois?
The obvious option is to loan Courtois out again, possibly back to Atleti, or even to another Premier League team. After all, the Belgian will not be content with a place on the bench after two seasons of first-team football, and it seems unlikely that Chelsea are ready to discard Petr Cech – who has the second-best record in the Premier League thus far this season. However, would Courtois accept yet another temporary move – especially with interest from Catalunya?
Even then, I fail to see why Chelsea would accept an offer like this. They signed Courtois knowing that he will develop into one of the best keepers in World Football – why would they sell that same keeper to one of their rivals? Considering that Courtois’ contract expires in 2016, I also doubt that £10 million would be enough to secure his services – it’s not like Chelsea are in desperate need of money.
However, assuming the two clubs were to enter into negotiations, what do you think would be a fair price for the young Belgian? And do you even think that Thibaut Courtois should be our number one target?