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REAL MADRID | COURTOIS

Real Madrid sounding out move for keeper Thibaut Courtois

Los Blancos are very interested in securing the Belgian goalkeeper's services for next season and have set the wheels in motion on his possible signing.

Javier G. Matallanas
Real Madrid sounding out move for keeper Thibaut Courtois Ampliar
Courtois' performances for Atlético have led to interest from Real Madrid. | Chema Díaz

Real Madrid are interested in Thibaut Courtois. The Liga BBVA club have begun negotiations over the signing of the Chelsea goalkeeper, who has been on loan at Atlético Madrid since July 2011. Courtois was recently directly contacted by an intermediary to sound out his interest in playing for Madrid next season.

Madrid chiefs Florentino Pérez and José Ángel Sánchez have maintained an excellent relationship with Chelsea manager José Mourinho, who would have no issues about negotiating a transfer with his former club.

Courtois is a player whom Pérez is keen on, the Madrid president privately expressing his admiration for the Belgium international on numerous occasions since his arrival in Spain.

Madrid want to sign Courtois for the coming season. The current Atlético number one is under contract at Chelsea until June 2016, and has stated that he will only return to Stamford Bridge if he is first choice - which he feels is unlikely if Petr Cech remains at the Premier League outfit.

Atlético owners Miguel Ángel Gil Marín and Enrique Cerezo are aware that Los Blancos have begun work on the signing of Courtois, and are not happy about their city rivals' intentions. Gil Marín has been negotiating the Belgian's signing with Chelsea for the past month. This was expressly requested by Rojiblancos coach Diego Simeone, who sees the keeper as the club's transfer priority for next season.

Los Colchoneros are exploring other ways to keep hold of Courtois if Chelsea do not accept their financial offer. It is possible that the London club could extend his contract until 2017 and accept another loan to Atlético next season - for the fourth consecutive year.

Atlético were in talks with Genk over the player’s signing in 2011, but were unable to compete financially with Chelsea. The insistence of the Madrid side’s interest led the 21-year-old to put pressure on the English club to loan him to the Vicente Calderón.

Chelsea’s plan was to take the goalkeeper back to England after his first campaign in Spain, before sending him out to another English club for a further two seasons to complete his apprenticeship and fully adapt to life in the Premier League. However, the West London outfit was persuaded by Courtois to extend his stay in the Spanish capital.

Courtois turns 22 in May. Since arriving at Atlético at the age of 19, he has developed into one of the world’s best goalkeepers. Real Madrid want to sign him next season, while Atlético aim to keep hold of his services. The Belgian belongs to Chelsea, and his future depends in part on the decision of manager José Mourinho.

Estadísticas AS.com