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On the Thibaut Courtois rumours

Angel Martinez

Thibaut Courtois is pretty good at football. The big goalkeeper had an outstanding first season at Atletico Madrid, and he's only gotten better since being re-loaned there this summer. He's one of the very best goalkeeping prospects in the game, and it's a good thing we got him from Genk when we did (thanks, Michael Emenalo!), because some seriously big names are starting to sniff around.

The hot rumour is that Barcelona are looking to acquire the 20-year-old for €10 million to replace -- and be a massive upgrade on -- the soon-to-be departed Victor Valdes. That Barca should want Courtois makes a lot of sense. The Belgian's probably been the best goalkeeper in La Liga over the past twelve months, and it doesn't look like he'll be unseating Petr Cech at Chelsea in the near future. Why not move on?

The problem's actually the price. Courtois' is under contract for another three and a half years, through the end of the 2015/16 season, which means that any move for the youngster would have to make sense for Chelsea. And considering two datapoints -- the €10 million Chelsea paid for Courtois in 2011 and the €22 million Manchester United did for David de Gea that same offseason -- it becomes obvious that any deal much under €25 million would be rather silly for the Blues to accept.

That doesn't mean that it's be silly to sell Courtois at some point, of course. The club's in the fortunate position where it has two world-class talents for one spot, and if selling either Courtois or Cech could bring in the funds to upgrade elsewhere (or serve as insurance should Chelsea have issues with FFP), that's worth exploring. But for the fee being bandied around right now, it's not worth our time to even consider.

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