Fight for Courtois brewing
Madrid - Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has said he is wanted by both Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, but has not yet made a decision on where he will play next season.
The 21-year-old is yet to play a game for parent club Chelsea as he has spent the last three seasons on loan at Atletico after joining the English side from Genk in 2011.
However, Courtois has consistently stated that he will not go back to Jose Mourinho's side unless he is guaranteed first team football and with Petr Cech enjoying a return to his best form this season, Courtois would be open to another year in the Spanish capital.
"My agent handles that and tells me what is important. Atletico want me to stay and Chelsea to return. We need to see where I feel best, although I am still not sure and therefore have not taken a decision," he told Spanish sports daily AS.
Rumours in Spain have also suggested that Real Madrid could hijack any attempt by Atletico to sign the player on a permanent basis.
However, with Atletico and Real set to face each other in a crucial match in the La Liga title race on Sunday, Courtois played down suggestions he could be playing anywhere other than Atletico or Chelsea next season.
"I am concentrated on Atletico and I belong to Chelsea. If anyone in Europe wants to sign me they have to talk to Chelsea and then the English club will decide what to do. Everything has to go through them and if it doesn't then there is nothing to talk about.
"I have a contract with Atletico until June and then two more years with Chelsea. If any offer comes in, Chelsea have to decide if they want me to leave, but that is not the case. Right now Atletico and Chelsea are the only two teams for me."
Courtois has the unenviable task of stopping an on-form Real frontline of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema at the Vicente Calderon this weekend after they each scored twice in Real's 6-1 mauling of Schalke in the Champions League in midweek.
However, he is confident that Atletico's more cautious approach could see them get the win they need to join Real on 63 points at the top of La Liga.
"We are different to Schalke. They were very open against Madrid. They left them a lot of space and Madrid have a lot of pace to take advantage of that.
"We know that it will be a very difficult game given the level at which they are currently playing.
"It will be a question of who defends best. We need to be concentrated and tight at the back to keep a clean sheet because we will have our chances going forward. It will be a great game and hopefully we can dedicate a win to our fans."