Good news for Chelsea from Barcelona?

Thibaut Coutois

Have Barcelona given up on signing Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea?

A month ago rumours were escalating that Barcelona wanted Thibaut Courtois to replace the outgoing Victor Valdes in goal.

Courtois is on loan at La Liga side Atletico Madrid from Chelsea, who could be pushed into choosing between the young Belgian or veteran Petr Cech at the end of the season.

Barcelona's interest in signing him would certainly have added an edge to negotiations, and recently he was voted by fans as the stopper they most wanted to see replace Valdes.

Now Chelsea may have been given a reprieve from such angst - with Barcelona said to have settled on an alternative.

Reports from the continent, originating from Germany and repeated by Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, claim that Barcelona have signed a provisional agreement with Marc-Andre Ter Stegen of Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Ter Stegen and Barcelona is not a new connection, but it is the detail in the latest reports which make it more credible.

Barcelona sporting director, and former Spanish international goalkeeper Andoni Zubizaretta has been spotted in Dusseldorf, Germany arriving off a flight from Barcelona and jumping in a taxi to Moenchengladbach.

There he is said to have met with Ter Stegen, his agent, and the club hierarchy at the Bundesliga side.

Ter Stegen's contract does not expire until 2015 and so there can be no pre-contract agreement signed at this stage, but what is being suggested is that the two clubs have settled on a €10 million fee and the goalkeeper is happy to make the move.

This certainly is not done and dusted just yet, but appears to be heading in only one direction at present.

If Ter Stegen's move to Barcelona is completed, it is good news for Chelsea and Thibaut Courtois, who can get on with discussing their future choices without the complication of one of the world's greatest clubs complicating matters.

Now the Belgian just has to continue on keeping his form at optimum level and showing Jose Mourinho why he should cast Petr Cech aside.

image: © wshjackson

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