Chelsea Transfer News: Thibaut Courtois Not Interested in Barcelona Move

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2014

VALLADOLID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 21:  Thibaut Courtois of Atletico de Madrid reacts during the La liga match between of Real Valladolid CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Jose Zorilla on September 21, 2013 in Valladolid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Barcelona's hunt for a new goalkeeper is unlikely to feature Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois after the player's father confirmed moving to the Camp Nou was "never an option" for the talented shot-stopper.

As reported by Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad via Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN FC, Thierry Courtois suggests his son is only willing to play for the Blues or Atletico Madrid—the team he is currently spending his third season with on loan:

"Thibaut is under contract at Atletico until June 30. There are only two clubs that are important to him—Chelsea and Atletico," said Thierry.

The player's father also suggested Barca have "opted for" Marc-Andre ter Stegen in light of Courtois' dismissal, suggesting the Borussia Monchengladbach keeper could soon be on his way to La Liga. Monchengladbach have confirmed Ter Stegen wishes to leave, as tweeted by ESPN FC: writer Daniel Busch also suggests the player will leave the Bundesliga club during the summer:

Ter Stegen, much like Courtois, is among the best young goalkeepers in the world. While both players have a huge future ahead of them, it seems Gerardo Martino will opt for a German influence between the sticks, as reported by Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail back in Oct. 2013.

The new arrival, whoever it turns out to be, will replace Victor Valdes at the end of the current campaign. Valdes has spent over 11 years in goal for La Blaugrana and is expected to join Monaco during the summer transfer window, as highlighted in an alternate Jenson report for the Daily Mail.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11:  Marc-Andre Ter Stegen of Borussia Monchengladbach in action during the pre season match between Norwich City and Borussia Monchengladbach at Carrow Road on August 11, 2012 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Im
Pete Norton/Getty Images

Manuel Neuer, the current German No. 1, believes Ter Stegen possesses substantial quality. However, he has questioned whether the youngster is ready for Barca just yet, per Yahoo! Eurosport:

Ter Stegen is definitely a great goalkeeper. He is agile and knows very well how to solve the most complicated of situations. I do not know if he is yet ready to play at Barca, that is something you should ask his technical staff.

Both Jose Mourinho and Chelsea fans will breathe a sigh of relief knowing the Spanish champions are looking away from Courtois, especially as the player's future has been a hot topic in recent times.

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 28: Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid CF strikes the ball past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois of Atletico de Madrid during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 28,
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

With Atletico currently pushing their Catalan rivals all the way for the Spanish title—equalling Barca's total of 49 points from 18 games—Courtois currently has the best clean sheet record in the division, per WhoScored:

Courtois' future remains unclear and depends on whether Mourinho sees him as an immediate replacement for Petr Cech, as covered in-depth here.

While the Portuguese boss would be foolish to let the youngster permanently leave, he faces a difficult task in convincing the Belgian to remain at Stamford Bridge below the Czech veteran.

Although this saga still has plenty of time to develop, Mourinho will be given greater time to decide Courtois' fate if Barcelona go through with the Ter Stegen deal.