Atletico declare interest in signing Courtois - how much would he cost?

Thibaut Coutois

The on-loan Belgian has proved himself to be one of the best young goalkeepers in the world, despite not featuring for parent club Chelsea.

There are few 21-year-olds that can claim to be considered among the best in the world in their position. And there are even fewer goalkeepers of that age that can rightly claim such a title.

But since moving to Atletico Madrid on loan some three years ago, stopper Thibaut Courtois' stock has continued to rise from his early-promise in Belgium.

Despite signing for Chelsea in 2011, he has yet to make an appearance for the Blues, and has instead taken part in Atletico's rise to the La Liga summit in his time in Spain, playing 126 games since replacing David de Gea.

Such undeniable quality, still surely yet to reach its peak, has seen Atletico president Enrique Cerezo publically declare his interest in signing the Belgian on a permanent deal, as well as rumours of Barcelona keeping an eye on proceedings.

"Courtois is incredible on the pitch. We are interested but the price is too much for a keeper," said Cerezo, according to Sky Sports sources.

"We want to try to do business, but it depends on Chelsea. We must study everything."

"For me, it is clear that Courtois is the best goalkeeper in Europe."

With Atletico allegedly preparing a £10million bid for a player Chelsea paid roughly the same amount for, any transfer may be some way off. Blues boss Jose Mourinho has also stated he rates Courthois and is in no rush for him to leave. 

Chelsea are thought to be after a figure around the £20million mark, with rating the youngster at £22million.

De Gea signed for Manchester United for just under £18 million, a record for a goalkeeper involving a British club. Gianluigi Buffon still holds the record after moving from Parma to Juventus for a massive £33 million in 2001. A transfer fee somewhere between the two figures  would likely be a reasonable amount.

One thing is for certain, if Cerezo wants a player of Courthois' ability it is likely he will have to be a little freer with his finances. 

image: © wshjackson

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