Transfer news: Chelsea step up attempts to convince Thibaut Courtois his future lies with Blues and not Atletico Madrid
Chelsea will increase their attempts to convince on-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois that his future lies at Stamford Bridge in the hope that he will sign a new contract in the near-future.
Courtois is currently enduring his third successive season on loan with La Liga title contenders Ateltico Madrid, and although he has spoken previously that he may be forced to look elsewhere for first team football, the Evening Standard is reporting that negotiations over a contract extension are underway.
Having joined the club from Belgian side Genk in 2011 for £7m, Courtois is yet to make his competitive debut for the Blues and is faced with the task of usurping long-serving stopper Petr Cech for the number one shirt.
The Belgium international has only two years left on his deal and already revealed he will only consider signing an extension if he is given assurances that he will have fair competition with first-choice Cech next term.
It is understood owner Roman Abramovich’s senior adviser and executive board member Marina Granovskaia is now overseeing the matter personally.
While a source confirmed talks were “going slowly”, it is believed that Chelsea are telling Courtois that he will get the opportunity to battle it out with Cech for the No1 jersey next season. The 21-year-old is still unsure and is worried about dropping back to the bench after spending three impressive campaigns in Atletico’s goal. Cech has been Chelsea’s main keeper for the past decade and at 31 years old still has plenty of seasons left at the highest level. His contract doesn’t expire until 2017.
Atletico want to sign Courtois permanently or on loan for a fourth successive campaign but Chelsea will not let him do that unless he signs a new contract.
The fact Chelsea and Atletico are in the last eight of the Champions League as well as a tight domestic title race has provided a distraction to proceedings.
Both parties want to concentrate on their bid for silverware for and it is expected that the next round of discussions will take place when one of the clubs are knocked out of Europe’s premier club competition. Chelsea face Paris Saint-Germain in the last eight, while Atletico play Barcelona.
The situation is also complicated by Chelsea wanting Atletico striker Diego Costa this summer. Representatives of the Blues watched Costa last night as he scored in the 1-0 win over Granada.
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