Ex-Real Madrid keeper says Chelsea starlet is ‘perfect’ for Barcelona

Bodo Illgner believes that Thibaut Courtois is the perfect man to replace Victor Valdes at the Nou Camp next summer.

Chelsea FC have such a wealth of talent at the club that in fact it overspills, and clubs around Europe are currently mopping up whatever topples over the edge. The club have numerous internationals currently out playing for other clubs on loan - and perhaps none more talented than goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The Belgian international was recently dubbed the best in the world by Radamel Falcao, and was officially the best in Spain last term - awarded the Zamora trophy in recognition of his campaign.

But as yet he has not featured for Chelsea, because in his way stands the stalwart veteran that is Petr Cech.

For the past two and a bit seasons he has instead been at Atletico Madrid on loan - signed as a temporary replacement to Manchester United stopper David De Gea. Nowadays he is almost a part of the furniture at the Vicente Calderon - to the point it is easy to forget he is only borrowed.

With that in mind, many a rumour circulates around the player - despite Jose Mourinho insisting that he is to go absolutely nowhere next summer.

Atletico are obviously keen - but it is the interest of Barcelona that likely most worries Mourinho and co.

Barcelona are of course preparing for the eventual departure of Victor Valdes, who has confirmed he will leave the club next summer and is widely expected to join AS Monaco on a Bosman.

The likes of Pepe Reina, Marc Andre ter Stegen and even Iker Casillas have been mentioned as potential targets.

But according to a former Real Madrid stopper - Courtois is the perfect man for the job.

Former German international and World Cup winner Bodo Illgner played for Real between 1996 and 2001 - before an 18-year-old upstart named Iker Casillas took his place.

And this is what he had to say about Courtois’ future:

“The ideal replacement for Victor Valdes is Thibaut Courtois, but it is very complicated for him to arrive. He is a magnificent goalkeeper, though. Courtois would be the number one option to replace Valdes.”

image: © wshjackson

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch