Good news for Chelsea from Marseille regarding Courtois future

Thibaut Coutois

Atletico Madrid are targeting Steve Mandanda of Marseille - suggesting they have given up hope of keeping Thibaut Courtois.

Just this weekend we saw yet another person tip Chelsea’s talented stopper Thibaut Courtois for a move away from Stamford Bridge - as ex-Real Madrid keeper Bodo Illgner said he was the perfect option as a Victor Valdes replacement at Barcelona next summer.

But Barcelona have plenty of other options - including the likes of Marc Andre ter Stegen and Liverpool stopper Pepe Reina.

The other worry of course is that his current club Atletico Madrid, where he has now enjoyed two and a half seasons on loan, could make a bid for the player - who admits he loves his time with Los Colchoneros.

The Belgian keeper has been dubbed the best in the world this week by Radamel Falcao, and was the best in Spain last term - so why are we even discussing him leaving Chelsea?

The fact is; he has never played for the club despite his 2011 arrival.

He will now reportedly not discuss his future until after the World Cup next summer - and it appears he feels slightly detached from the team that pays his salary, as is likely after being shipped out for three seasons on the bounce.

The problem is Petr Cech, a bona fide Chelsea legend these days, but a player whose talents are certainly diminishing.

However, a sense of sentimentality is surely at play here, as on form, Courtois should be the one tending Chelsea’s goal.

And in any transfer negotiations, there is no doubt Atletico would have the upper hand.

But reports from Spain today should come as music to the ears of Chelsea fans - as Atletico Madrid are reportedly set to replace Courtois.

Marseille goalkeeper Steven Mandanda is set to leave the Stade Velodrome this summer, and it appears the Vicente Calderon will be his destination.

It is reported in AS that the French number two is their number one target to replace Courtois when he returns to Chelsea next summer. 

While it is nothing concrete, it certainly suggests that Atletico are looking to give up on their Belgian, leaving him free to return to Chelsea.

Unless Barcelona come knocking that is.

image: © wshjackson

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch