A report in Spain has said Thibaut Courtois would pick a move to Barcelona over the other options for his future, of which Real Madrid are one.
Sport claims that if Barca move quickly, they can tie down the Belgium goalkeeper, currently on loan at Atletico Madrid from Chelsea.
Courtois’ next step isn’t clear as his loan with Atletico expires at the end of the season. He has spent three years at Vicente Calderon, having moved to Chelsea from Genk in 2011 and played against his parent club as Atletico eliminated the Blues from the Champions League semi-finals.
Barca are said to have effectively completed the signing of Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen but sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has been presented with the chance to sign Courtois as well.
There is said to be a feeling at Camp Nou that Courtois is a better option than Ter Stegen, although no one doubts the quality of the German. But Ter Stegen would have to adapt to La Liga, whereas Courtois has three years in the country and the greater experience, despite being only 21.
Barca are also said to feel they need two high-calibre goalkeepers and could pursue Courtois as well as finalise the deal for Ter Stegen.
Victor Valdes had already confirmed he was leaving the club prior to suffering a serious knee injury and is still expected to depart when his contract expires at the end of the season, while Jose Pinto’s deal is also up this summer.
Chelsea are understood to want to sign Courtois to a new contract and loan him out again as Jose Mourinho feels Petr Cech still has time left in him as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.
But there’s no guarantee Courtois would agree to that scenario. Courtois is thought to want his future settled, at an ambitious club.
Should he decline to sign a new contract, Chelsea would put Courtois up for sale and Barca would be the team leading the chase.
Real Madrid are also a factor, with Los Blancos identifying Courtois as Iker Casillas’ long-term replacement and an attractive offer has allegedly been made to his agent.
Sport add that Courtois always wanted to play for Barca and having experienced La Liga, would prefer to continue his career in Spain.
The report also claims that Luis Enrique, the Celta Vigo Coach expected to replace Tata Martino next season, would be happy with the signing of Courtois. The only party who needs convincing is Zubi, Sport say.