Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has become used to being a first-team regular.
The Belgian youngster has been with the Rojiblancos for two and a half years, returning to the club each summer for a new one-year loan deal.
However, as the 21-year-old’s performances have transformed him to arguably one the World’s finest goalkeepers, the idea of another loan-spell now seems absurd.
Jose Mourinho recently admitted as such in a recent interview, responding bluntly with the word ‘No’ when asked whether he can see Courtois extending his stay in Madrid beyond the summer. Diego Costa’s name also came up – however Mourinho was only interested in talking about Courtois, adding:
"Courtois is our player, Diego is not our player, so I cannot speak about Diego Costa."
"About Courtois, I can, because he is my player."
"Will he stay with Atletico? No. No."
Thibaut Courtois is reportedly very happy in Madrid. He is said to have a Spanish girlfriend – and is only interested in playing regular first-team football.
According to Portuguese paper A Bola, the goalkeeper who is approaching his 100th appearance for the La Liga title-chasers has responded to Mourinho’s demands, suggesting that the Portuguese boss should find him a solution if he’s not number one at Chelsea:
"I'm 21 but I have been a starter for four years, with almost 40 games a year. I can’t imagine being there without playing.”
“If I return my hope is to play, otherwise it is necessary to find me a solution. They have a very good goalkeeper and it is a decision that we will have to take.”
"I have not spoken with Mourinho and I think it will not happen before the end of the season.”
“It’s possible that Mourinho wants me to return to compete with Petr Cech. I'm not afraid of that, I want to be number 1. If I play poorly, they can remove me from the team.”