Ever since Thibaut Courtois revealed his desire to return to Spain, the Belgian goalkeeper has found himself to be the regular subject of speculation among the Madrid-based newspapers. Real Madrid, the European Champions, are keen to sign him next summer, and Los Blancos are pretty confident that a deal with Chelsea can be struck.
Courtois is happy at Chelsea, and he is enjoying a great season with the Blues. But at the same time, he is not averse to the move. He has plenty of experience in La Liga, having spent three successful seasons on loan at Atlético. He will feel at home in Madrid, and at 24, he has age on his side to represent Madrid for years to come.
The problem, however, is that Courtois would not only command a huge transfer fee, but also there is a concern about how Atlético fans would react to the move if he ends up joining their derby rivals.
Miguel Angel Gil Marin, the CEO of Atlético Madrid, said in an interview with Onda Cero that he will not feel bad if Courtois joins Real Madrid next summer, and that the Rojiblancos fans should not see it as an act of betrayal. The reason being, Courtois is not a local lad, and although the bond with him and the fans is strong, they should understand the Belgian’s real motive behind the move.
Marin, however, adds that he would be happier if Real Madrid go on to sign the Manchester United goalkeeper, David de Gea, instead next summer, as Atlético would financially benefit from the transaction. According to Mundo Deportivo, de Gea has a clause in his contract, where Atlético are liable to receive a 5% of the transfer fees from any future sale of the player. Real Madrid were close to signing him a couple of seasons ago, but the deal collapsed in the final hours due to documentation problems.
Another reason why Marin wants Real Madrid to turn their attention to de Gea is that Chelsea could make a move for Atlético’s first-choice goalkeeper, Jan Oblak, if Courtois leaves for Spain. Oblak is a precious asset for Atlético, and needless to say, they would try everything in their power to prevent any potential transfer from happening.