MADRID, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Atletico Madrid's Belgian international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois denied on Tuesday that he had agreed to move to Real Madrid at the end of the current season.
Spanish radio station, Cadena Ser stunned Atletico fans on the eve of their Champions League tie at home to AC Milan, with the news that the goalkeeper had told Atletico's General Director, Miguel Angel Gil Marin he had agreed a move across town to Atletico's bitter rivals.
Courtois is in the middle of his third season on loan with Atletico from English club, Chelsea. He has a contract with Chelsea until the middle of 2016, but the presence of the excellent Petr Cech at the club means that should he return to England, he could not at the moment be guaranteed the first team football he wants, leading to intense speculation over his future.
The goalkeeper's future may still be unknown, but he denies any link to Real Madrid.
"It's completely false. I couldn't have said any such thing to Gil Marin because it isn't true. Everyone knows I've got a contract with Chelsea and I'm happy at Atletico," said Courtois in sports paper Diario AS.
Meanwhile sources from the club assure that Atletico are currently talking to Chelsea with a view to trying to keep the goalkeeper on longer than the end of next season.
The problem is whether or not Chelsea would be willing to let Courtois to spend a fourth season on loan in Spain, but with Cech still only 31 years old Chelsea's first choice keeper still looks as if he is able to continue as first choice for several years to come.
Chelsea may be faced with a dilemma of either selling Courtois and placing faith in Cech for the next four or five years, or looking to sell their current keeper and taking a long term gamble on Courtois, who is still just 21 years old.
"I am focused on Atletico and I belong to Chelsea. If someone in Europe wants me they must first speak with Chelsea. The English club will decide what they want to do. Everything must go through there, and if nothing happens, then there is nothing," added Courtois.
If Chelsea do decide to sell the youngster, he would cost at least 30 million Euros and the question is whether or not Atletico could afford that kind of money. Another option could be to sell striker Diego Costa, who is thought to be a Chelsea target in an exchange deal for the goalkeeper.