Atletico Madrid manager, Diego Simeone, wants to sign Chelsea loanee, Thibaut Courtois, on a permanent deal and is prepared to spend over €26m to secure his services.
The 21-year-old is currently his third successive loan season at the Vicente Calderon Stadium. He joined Chelsea in 2011 following a £5m move from Genk, but with Petr Cech still the nailed on number one at Stamford Bridge, Courtois was has been on loan to continue his development.
At Atletico, the Belgium international has developed into one of Europe’s best shot-stoppers and has been pivotal to the club's latest success. Courtois’ defence conceded the least goals in La Liga last year and the Atleti again have the best defence this season.
Courtois helped them to win the Copa del Rey and also won the Europa League with Atletico the previous season. His manager has now openly expressed his ambitions to keep the keeper in Spain.
"I would pay without a doubt €26m for Courtois. Whatever they (Atletico) pay will be a bargain,” Simeone told Spanish TV station Cuatro.
"He's a young guy who has a huge future and is on track to becoming one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
"Signing a goalkeeper of his caliber would be a big step, but it will not be easy.
"It depends on what Courtois wants, the club (Chelsea) knows our needs, but it is not up to us, because he is is not our player." Simeone added.
Courtois never made an appearance for the Blues and Chelsea may take advantage of Simeone’s public desire to get the player and earn a lucrative fee for a player that they just paid £5m for.
Recently Atletico's president, Enrique Cerezo, revealed that Chelsea value the player at around €25m and suggested Atletico could offer some of their biggest stars in exchange to get the deal done.
"I believe that Chelsea have placed €25m price tag on Courtois. He is worth a lot because he is the best in Europe but €25m is too much for a keeper. Let's see what can we do."
Should Chelsea let Courtois go or should he replace Petr Cech at Stamford Bridge? Have your say in the comment section below.