We all know about the managerial merry-go-round that seems to happen every year just before the Christmas break, but this summer we are witnessing the goalkeeping version of the same game. A whole handful of shot-stoppers seem to be changing clubs this summer and there is a chance that the actions of Chelsea could stop their London rivals, Arsenal, from signing their biggest goalie target before the start of the season.
Belgium goalkeeper Thibault Courtois has been the No. 1 at Atletico Madrid for three years now, but it looks like Jose Mourinho is finally summoning the young ‘keeper back to London for the forthcoming season.
This would leave Diego Simeone and Atletico without a first-choice goalkeeper for the defence of their La Liga title. After his impressive performances for Mexico at the World Cup, Guillermo Ochoa has emerged as the favourite to replace Courtois at the Spanish club.
Arsenal had been heavily linked with a move for the former AC Ajaccio player; his contract with the French club ran out on July 1, making him a free agent and a very desirable signing for a whole host of top clubs.
With Chelsea recalling Courtois, they could also have stopped Arsenal’s chances of signing the Mexican goalkeeper. Atletico right now, could be a bigger draw than the Londoners; Ochoa would be signing with the Spanish champions and Champions League runners-up.
There would be no huge competition for places at Atleti, unlike at Arsenal where he would have to fight with Wojciech Szczesny for the right to start at the Emirates.
Atletico were also interested in Claudio Bravo of Chile, but he has signed for Barcelona. Both Arsenal and Liverpool had been linked with Ochoa, but with the experience the Mexican ‘keeper has, he would be an ideal signing for Simeone this summer.
No one is quite sure on how much money the Spanish giants have to spend, with a lot of deals done from third-party ownership, so the deal to get Ochoa in on a free transfer would be ideal for the Spanish club.
It looks like Chelsea have dealt Arsenal a big blow, and the season hasn’t even started yet.