Courtois: How do Chelsea approach the biggest decision they'll make this season?

Contract talks with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be high on the agenda for Jose Mourinho.

The young Belgian is the obvious replacement for Petr Cech in the Chelsea first team but the Daily Mail reported yesterday that Courtois is likely to stall over new deal talks, giving Chelsea the choice between him and their current Czech international.

Courtois has proven to be a high quality and very consistent goalkeeper during his now lengthy loan spell with Atletico Madrid in La Liga and it’s difficult because he obviously wants to play all the time when he returns to Stamford Bridge.

There are several ways that the Blues can approach one of the biggest issues they will face over the rest of the season.

The first and the most obvious one in the eyes of Courtois is for the club to sell Cech.

That would be a radical move considering Cech has been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the Premier League ever since he signed on the doted line at Stamford Bridge.

However, that’s the sure fire way the Blues can guarantee Courtois a place in their first team and fend off the vultures who would quite happily swoop in and take the young Belgian away from the club.

The second is to play somewhat of a waiting game, getting the Belgian to commit to another loan deal, possibly at Atletico Madrid, which will allow them to enjoy Cech for a little bit longer.

The unfortunate thing is that both players have contracts which expire at the same time so letting Cech’s deal wind down, before bringing Courtois back at his replacement isn’t an option.

The third choice that Mourinho and the club have, which is the most dangerous, is to be aggressive over a new deal for Courtois.

Chelsea can suggest to the Belgian’s representatives that an offer put on the table in the near future is the only one he’ll get, effectively playing hard ball and trying to get Courtois to commit his long term future to the club.

However, the danger in that is Chelsea losing out on him because there’s a good reasons that clubs like Barcelona have been linked with him, as he’s proven what a good player he is.

It’s also dangerous because Chelsea being aggressive now means they would be taking a forceful hand in the build up to the World Cup and that’s something Courtois will definitely want to be a part of.

It’s reasonable that off the field negotiations and talks could affect his form and if he lost his place to Simon Mignolet ahead of the World Cup, that’s not something he may forgive Chelsea for.

It’s difficult and Mourinho and Chelsea have to find a balance that allows them to keep their star youngster.

image: © azuaje

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