The Telegraph are reporting that Real Madrid are sniffing around Cobham in their search for a goalkeeper better than Iker Casillas, but instead of asking about Petr Cech, they've targeted Thibaut Courtois:
Telegraph Sport understands that Real were prepared to pay almost £37 million for Courtois, which would have made him the most expensive ever goalkeeper. When they inquired about the Belgian, however, Chelsea told Real they would have to double that fee to stand any chance of signing the player.
Jose Mourinho, Chelsea’s manager, has previously claimed that Real would have to pay £100 million for each leg of Eden Hazard and his valuation of Courtois was similarly designed to make it clear that the 23‑year-old was not for sale.
I love the English press, I really do. Do we really believe that Chelsea decided to deter the Spanish side by demanding a world-record fee, instead of just telling them 'no'? I guess that wouldn't sell as many papers though, so world record transfer demand it is.
The paper goes on to suggest that Jose Mourinho won't be willing to settle for just any backup when Cech departs, wanting someone he can rely on if Courtois goes down with injury.
Chelsea will demand about £10 million for Cech. Mourinho will tell the club’s board that the money must be reinvested in replacing him with a top-quality goalkeeper, rather than trying to bring in a bench-warmer, even if they have to pay big wages. Chelsea have looked at the Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Rob Green, but Mourinho would prefer Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic, whom he could confidently play in big games if required.
In a nutshell, I'd certainly prefer Begovic to players like Green or John Ruddy, but given the amount of time that player would be expected to play, the price, and the roster restrictions in place, I'd prefer if the Blues managed to find a homegrown/association-trained keeper of acceptable quality to back up Courtois next season.