Report: Has Mourinho really threatened to freeze player out?

There are suggestions in Spain that claim Chelsea boss Jose is ready to bury on-loan star into the reserves should he not sign a new contract…

Thriving goalkeeper Thiabaut Courtois, 21, on loan at Atletico Madrid from Chelsea since 2011, is under threat of being buried by Blues boss Jose Mourinho if he does not commit to a new, longer deal that will secure his long-term future for the London club, according to reports from Spanish newspaper Marca.

Courtois' current deal expires in 2016 but Marca imply that if he refuses to sign a new contract then Mourinho will not only effectively block any bids that come in for the shot-stopper (Barcelona and Atletico both linked of late) but also demote the player to the reserves.

Petr Cech has been Chelsea's primary goalkeeper since his acquisition from Rennes in 2004 but, at 31, perhaps only has a number of years left at the highest echelons of European football.

It has been consensus opinion up until this point that Courtois would be the long-term heir to the throne long dominated by Cech, and the club's three-year choice to guarantee regular first-choice football for their number two by allowing him to be nurtured at Atletico may now appear a double-edged sword.

Courtois has no doubt developed into one of the top young goalkeepers in Europe, but there appears to be an impatience within the media - and particularly with his nation; Belgium - that he has to play regular football for the club who employs him long-term.

Earlier this week, Courtois team-mate at Atletico and Belgium; Toby Alderweireld, informed Sky Sports that: 'It would be a good choice for him to maybe stay with Atletico, or go to another club where he will be number one. He does not want to sit on the bench for eight games then play for one.

'I don't think he has a weak point and I think he can be the best 'keeper in the world. He is good with the ball, he is good with his feet and he is great on his line. I see him in training every day and I see him in games and I doubt there are any 'keepers better than him.'

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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