Further confirmation of Thibaut Courtois returning to Chelsea, but is Cech leaving as a result?

Clive Rose

This entire Belgian squad, from the manager on down, is a veritable gold mine of quotes -- even when they're just accidentally overheard by the microphones (what is with this microphone indiscipline lately; first Mourinho, then Pique, now Wilmots?!).  Though surprisingly and thankfully, the following have nothing to do with Romelu Lukaku.

"He [Courtois] goes back to Chelsea."

-Marc Wilmots; source: Sky

This matches everything Mourinho's been saying lately about the young goalkeeper, as well as Courtois' words from just a few days ago.

"I can reveal now that I have had a big meeting with Jose Mourinho in May, before the Atletico v Barcelona game.  We talked about my situation. And after this World Cup everything will be clear to everyone..."

-Thibaut Courtois; source: Mirror

Though he's hinted at a meeting of the minds with Mourinho before, I think this is the first time he's actually confirmed it so specifically.  And while he leaves the outcome ambiguous, all signs point to him being at Stamford Bridge for next season.  About time, too, after three seasons away on loan!

The question now obviously becomes what to do with Petr Cech, who's currently recovering from shoulder surgery.  Sell? Hold? Fold? Carousel?

"If possible, yes, [Chelsea will sell Cech]."

-Marc Wilmots; source: Sky

Whether Wilmots has actually inside info via Courtois, or he's just guessing is up for debate.  But selling Cech isn't all that outlandish considering all of Courtois' previously stated desires to be the undisputed number one.  That being said, the 22-year-old (not 24, Dear Mirror) seems to have gained some perspective on that issue thanks to the World Cup.

"I still feel so young and yet I have had four amazing seasons behind me already. One in Belgium and three with Atletico Madrid. And here I am in the middle of this World Cup, the biggest football tournament on the planet.  I feel lucky that I can play at this level, where Belgium's national team has not been for the last 12 years. It also makes me realise that I have to keep both feet on the ground."

"Reputations mean nothing if you don't get through the first round. If we get at least to the quarter-final we have a slight reason to be proud.  I will never say that I am one of the best keepers in the world. If others rate me highly that is great. But I just have to prove it every day in this World Cup."

-Thibaut Courtois; source: Mirror

A welcome development, I think.

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