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Monday, Jul 06th

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With merely days left before their pivotal Champions League semi-final first leg clash, Chelsea and Atletico are locked in a three way predicament in the transfer market as well. According to reports in the Daily Star, the two clubs are currently trying to hash out an agreement involving the three players; Diego Costa, Thibaut Courtois and Romelu Lukaku.

It is no breaking news that Jose Mourinho is desperate to land a world class striker at Stamford Bridge to head his otherwise world class outfit. The Portuguese has his heart set on Costa, who has been in imperious form for the red half of Madrid and could very well lead them to an unprecedented and hitherto unthinkable La Liga title this campaign. Atletico have slapped a £32 million buy-out clause on the Brazil born striker, but are willing to negotiate only so long as the west Londoners consent to exchange Lukaku with Costa as  well as extend the loan spell of Courtois for another year.

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Chelsea’s army of young players out on loan is well documented, with an astonishing 27 players on the club’s books spending time away from Stamford Bridge. Thibaut Courtois is probably the most high-profile of the lot along with Romelu Lukaku, with both Belgians seemingly resigned to never breaking into Jose Mourinho’s first team squad despite consistently performing for Atletico Madrid and Everton respectively. The prodigious keeper that Courtois is, it is understandable that Chelsea have no intention to sell him whilst Atletico are trying every trick in the book to keep him for longer.

The 21 year old stopper has been with the slick Spanish side ever since he signed for Chelsea in 2011, making just over 100 appearances in the three years he has spent in the capital city. He has started in all but one of Atletico’s La Liga games this season, making as much of a contribution to Atletico’s title charge as Arda Turan and Diego Costa.

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has made it clear that young goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois would not be bidding adieu to the club anytime soon, despite question marks being raised over his future with the Blues.

The Portuguese was quoted in The Daily Mirror, saying: “We won’t struggle to keep him. He has two more years on his contract so he is easy to keep. I don’t give assurances to any player. A player who has a contract with Chelsea, has a contract with Chelsea. If someone wants a player with a contract, we have to know.”

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Atletico Madrid custodian Thibaut Courtois has strongly rebuked fellow countryman Simon Mignolet, who very recently reiterated his desire to displace the 21 year old from his country’s first team spot.

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Thibaut Courtois’ father has declared that he does not want his son to be warming the bench at Chelsea next season. The Courtois camp, including the star ‘keeper himself, have clearly stated that he does not want to play back up to anybody after a hugely successful three years at Atletico Madrid. And in another clear warning to Courtois’ parent club Chelsea, the Belgian international’s father has said that Chelsea need to decide who will be their number one for the next season.

“Chelsea have a good goalkeeper in Cech, so cohabitation with both is not possible,alternating between the two is possible on paper but this is not what we want. This is not a situation we want.” said Courtois senior.

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If reports in the Spanish media are to believed, Chelsea have agreed a swap deal that would see Belgian ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois remain at Atletico Madrid on a permanent basis while Spanish striker Diego Costa moves to Stamford Bridge. This new development in the Diego Costa saga comes as no surprise as it is well known that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho wants to bring in a new striker in the summer transfer window. On the other side of the coin, another established fact is Atletico’s desire to retain the services of Courtois on a permanent basis. The Belgian international’s wish to stay in Spain adds further weight to Atletico’s case and this potential swap deal would only make sense for all parties involved while at the same time blowing Chelsea’s rivals for Costa’s signature out of the water.

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Atletico Madrid would pay any amount to try to keep goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois past the end of this season, says their manager Diego Simeone. The Belgian has been on loan from Chelsea since the summer of 2011 and has established himself as one of the best young keepers in Europe. He has been the cornerstone of everything good that has happened for the Rojiblancos and Simeone is not prepared to let him go so easily.

Courtois has had the first team role to himself for the entire duration of his loan spell and has indicated that he will only want to return to Chelsea if he is assured that he will be ahead of incumbent Chelsea ‘keeper Petr Cech in the pecking order. In a situation where Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho would not be able to assure the number one role, the 21 year old Belgian will definitely look for a way out of the club.

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