Thibaut Courtois normally spends his down time pining for Atletico Madrid. His agent revealed yesterday that Courtois is no more attached to going to Atletico than he is to staying at Chelsea.
Any relationship guru (or just the guy on the stool next to you at the pub) will tell you that if someone will cheat on their significant other with you, they will just as soon cheat on you with the next one. Any team interested in signing Thibaut Courtois should mull that maxim.
For most of Courtois’ time at Chelsea, his interest in returning to Atletico Madrid ranged from “forlorn longing” to “overt and explicit.” Chelsea squelched the courtship, and Courtois continued to do his job capably if not exceptionally.
However, with Atletico now under a transfer ban, Courtois is turning his attention to the other side of Madrid. Perhaps it’s less about Atletico and more about Madrid or west London.
Thibaut obviously interests the biggest clubs, and therefore the reigning European champions. He is a player who wins matches and trophies for you.
I regularly meet with Real Madrid’s directors, and Thibaut’s situation has come up for discussion. – Christophe Henrotay, Daily Mail
Henrotay, Courtois’ agent, presumably thought Real Madrid’s interest gives him leverage in negotiating £180,000 a week from Chelsea. By dropping this nugget, and pointedly referring to Real as “the reigning European champions,” he hoped Chelsea would rethink Courtois’ desirability and value.
If Chelsea have any sense about them, Henrotay grossly misread the situation. Chelsea are looking for reasons not to double Thibaut Courtois’ wages. His statistics and his attitude should induce Chelsea to look for a buyer, not a budget. If Real Madrid are willing to pay £180,000 a week for Courtois, Chelsea should tell them to pay a proportional transfer fee and send Courtois on his way.
Thibaut Courtois is now simply a wantaway player. He may have had an attachment to Atletico Madrid from his time on loan there. However, his top priorities are to leave Chelsea, go to Madrid and play for the club that will (over)pay him the most.
Perhaps Courtois would still be maneuvering for Atletico if not for their transfer ban. Regardless, Atletico would do well to learn from this latest gambit. They may think he would be loyal to them after his years of service and subsequent years of yearning. But he has now turned on Atletico once, to their cross-town rival no less. He would just as easily do it again, even if he was in their kit.
If, somehow, he ended up at Atletico they could have no more confidence in him than Chelsea do now. Buyer beware, even if that buyer is Real Madrid.