Real Madrid have opened talks with Chelsea over signing Thibaut Courtois, currently on loan at Atletico Madrid, reports say.
AS claims Madrid President Florentino Perez is an admirer of the Belgium international and his good relationship with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, formerly of Madrid, has led to talks getting underway.
Atletico have had Courtois on loan from Chelsea for the last three seasons and want him again next year but Courtois, contracted to Chelsea until 2016, wants to be first choice at Stamford Bridge.
That, considering the form and fitness of Petr Cech, is however considered unlikely, which could lead to Courtois leaving Chelsea without ever having played a game in their colours.
Atleti Coach Diego Simeone is said to have made retaining the goalkeeper the club’s priority and negotiations are on-going. If Atletico decide they can’t afford to buy Courtois outright, it’s been proposed that Chelsea extend his contract by 12 months and he returns to Vicente Calderon for a fourth loan spell.
Chelsea had initially wanted to loan Courtois to a Premier League club after two years in Spain but Courtois liked it so much at Atleti that he insisted on being allowed to return if he wasn’t going to usurp Cech.
Atletico are said to be aware of Madrid’s attempts to snatch Courtois away and are not happy with them, but the 21-year-old’s future is currently unclear.