Atletico Madrid would love to keep Thibaut Courtois on a permanent basis, but admit they may be priced out of securing a deal for his signature.
Chelsea signed the goalkeeper from Genk in the summer of 2011, but with Petr Cech the undisputed number one at Stamford Bridge, they immediately loaned him out to Atletico. He is now in his third season at the Vicente Calderon, during which time he has established himself as one of the best shot-stoppers in European football.
Courtois, who has conceded just 11 goals in La Liga this season, has racked up 93 league appearances during his time in Spain, and is a key member of a Diego Simeone side which is gunning for a first title since 1996. It is no surprise, then, that Los Rojiblancos are keen to sign the 21-year-old on a permanent basis at the end of the season.
By this time the Belgium international, who has 14 caps for his country, will still have two years left on his contract at Stamford Bridge. And whilst negotiations over a transfer are sure to take place, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo accepts it will be difficult to strike a deal amid reports the Londoners would demand around £20million.
“Courtois is incredible. We are interested but the price is too much for a keeper,” he is quoted in the Daily Mirror. “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.”