According to several reports this week it appears that Barcelona have finally decided on the goalkeeper of choice to take over from Victor Valdes at the end of the season - and it should come as music to the ears of Chelsea fans.
The likes of Liverpool’s Pepe Reina, Inter Milan’s Samir Handanovic and FC Basel’s Yann Sommer have recently been linked with filling the gloves of the long serving Barca stopper; who has admitted a desire to leave the Nou Camp this summer to experience a new league and culture. He even went as far as to practically coax Premier League clubs into making a move for his services.
With his contract expiring in 2014 Barca bosses were obviously not keen on losing him for nothing in 12 months so it looks as if they have instead decided to accept their player’s wishes and start aiming for a replacement.
Now it seems that replacement has been identified as Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen. The highly rated German has been courted by the likes of Arsenal and Inter Milan in recent weeks but now seems to have set his heart on a dream move to Barcelona.
But why should this read well for Chelsea fans. Well this will hopefully spell the end in Barca’s interest for Thibault Courtois; which reportedly heightened last weekend.
After he turned out an incredible performance for Atletico Madrid in the Copa Del Rey final against bitter rivals Real Madrid many were in agreement that he was indeed the best keeper in La Liga right now. He has broken the record for longest streak without conceding both home and away for Los Colchoneros as well this term in yet another excellent campaign for Chelsea’s on-loan Belgian number one goalkeeper.
Now it appears he is happy to spend another year out on loan at the Vicente Calderon; where he is keen to represent his farm club in the Champions League after an excellent campaign.
Then, when Petr Cech finally starts to permanently waiver, Chelsea will undoubtedly promote Courtois to first team duties. Judging by his excellent form with Madrid there is little doubt that he will be able to live up to the billing previously set by the Czech Republic stopper.
Ter Stegen’s apparent eagerness to join Barcelona may not be great news for Arsenal but as far as Chelsea are concerned it may just save them from losing one of their most prized assets in rather embarrassing circumstances.
Do you think Courtois will be Chelsea number one by 2015?
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