Earlier in the week, Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois confirmed that he'd be remaining in Spain next season for a third year at Atletico Madrid. That came on top of reports that new manager Jose Mourinho was interested in bringing him to London.
The Belgian media is giving us some quotes today in which Courtois explains that decision to remain in Spain, and makes it clear that Jose Mourinho would have preferred to have him joining Chelsea next season:
"If it were up to him, he would have had me already for next season."
"I told him that this is a very important year for me. I want to remain as the first choice ‘keeper for Belgium in a year where we can go to the World Cup in Brazil. To do this I have to keep playing in a team at a high level because the competition for the national team is very hard."
"Chelsea have Petr Cech, who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Mourinho would prefer to have all of his best goalkeepers with him. He would have liked that Petr and I were under his command next season at Chelsea and it is logical, but he has also understood my position."
"During the season we will see where my future is after this year, but that is still far away. Someday I would like to work with Mourinho, it was my desire when I signed for Chelsea a few years ago."
While I don't personally care about international football all that much, I suppose I can see the appeal to the players actually representing their country. In that regard, this is probably the correct decision for both Courtois and Petr Cech, as both will start regularly next season at the very top level in Europe.
I have to say though, it would be a bit interesting to see a real goalkeeping battle. I just can't think of another instance in which a club had two of the top handful of goalkeepers on the planet under their control and gave them a season together to fight for the top place. When it does eventually happen (and it sounds as if it's coming very, very soon), it's going to be one of the more interesting storylines in recent memory.
Regardless, it looks as if Jose Mourinho will have at least a year to wait before making that decision, and it will give us one more year to enjoy Petr Cech without worrying about whether each appearance will be his last. That's good for all of us I suppose.