(AFP) – Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be back at parent club Chelsea next season having starred in Atletico Madrid’s La Liga-winning campaign, his country’s coach Marc Wilmots said Sunday.
A Belgian television station caught Wilmots chatting and admitting as much to former France and Liverpool coach Gerard Houiller before the game.
Courtois has had three seasons away from Stamford Brudge on loan but having helped Atletico to the Spanish title and the Champions League final, the Blues consider him ready for Premier League duty.
Asked the question by Houllier, Wilmots replied: “He’s going back to Chelsea, yes.”
Houllier then asks: “So they’ll sell (Czech keepr Petr) Cech?” Wilmots responds: “It’s possible, yes.”
Courtois, who started out at Genk in his homeland, said before the World Cup he wanted to know a first team place would be his if he did go back to London — or anywhere else.
“If I go anywhere it will be to play. That’s what I want to be doing at my age (22), he insisted.
“That’s what I want, that’s what is important to me — playing,” said Courtois, voted best keeper in La Liga the past two seasons.