Chelsea Transfer News: Fernando Torres' Agent Makes Big Thibaut Courtois Claim

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2014

Atletico Madrid's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois attends a training session at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, March 31, 2014. FC Barcelona will face Atletico Madrid in a first leg quarter-final Champions League soccer match April 1. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez

Antonio Sanz, the agent of Fernando Torres, has revealed Thibaut Courtois is "guaranteed" a place in Chelsea's starting lineup next season.

Writing in his El Confidencial column, Sanz suggests Jose Mourinho has already confirmed the Belgian's status as No. 1 to the club's hierarchy, a decision brought on by Petr Cech's flailing form in recent times, via Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard:

The coach, very displeased with the performances of the Czech goalkeeper in the key matches of the season, has made it clear to the Chelsea directors that it is a moment for change. That they cannot neglect the best goalkeeper. That the time to prove his worth is over for Courtois. That he must be Chelsea’s starting keeper in the 2014-15 season. And he made that known to him. A starting place is guaranteed.

Alvaro Barrientos

Johnson builds on this revelation by suggesting Courtois will sign a five-year contract worth over £60,000 per week, more than double his current salary.

The 21-year-old is said to want "assurances" he will be given the opportunity to compete with Cech for starting residency between the posts, but if Sanz's comments are to be believed, he will receive much more than that.

Courtois continues to progress into one of the world's top goalkeepers. Currently in his third loan season with Atletico Madrid, the confident young stopper has helped the Spanish team to Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and Copa del Rey glory in previous campaigns.

Diego Simeone's side are currently one point clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga. They remain in the Champions League after drawing 1-1 with their Catalan rivals in the quarter-final first leg and have an excellent chance at gaining silverware this season.

Rui Vieira

Cech has suffered sloppy form at intermittent spells this year, summed up by his poor display during the Blues' recent 3-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain. His slow dive allowed Javier Pastore to add a potentially pivotal third goal in the runup to Tuesday's second leg, forcing Paul Brown of the Daily Star to label the 31-year-old "the symbol of everything that's wrong" with Chelsea.

As noted by Johnson, Cech recently appeared happy to invite Courtois' talents back to Stamford Bridge:

"It was a great move by Chelsea to sign him because you can see in the last three years how he's developed and improved," said the veteran. "He has a way to play, I have my way, so let’s see what's going to happen."

The future certainly looks bright for Courtois. He is set to embark on an exciting World Cup journey with a Belgium team many fancy to perform well in Brazil. Cech will be on the sofa watching while his so-called understudy faces Algeria, Russia and South Korea.

Having already proven himself at the highest level, Mourinho would be wise to quickly install Courtois as his most important goalkeeper. He can be Chelsea's first choice for the next decade if given the opportunity to perform, whereas Cech looks to be at the end of his Stamford Bridge dominance.

Mourinho is building a young team, led by the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar, so he shouldn't have fear in utilising Courtois. The former Genk player is just as qualified as the Portuguese manager's headline-making starlets and could turn out to be Mourinho's biggest regret if he leaves Chelsea without receiving a chance to shine.


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