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Atletico to bypass Mourinho over Courtois

ESPN staff
January 30, 2014 « Liverpool get a clear run at transfer target | Chartbeat test »
Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois is in his third season on loan at Atletico Madrid © PA Photos
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Atletico Madrid claim Jose Mourinho has little clout in Chelsea's transfer dealings after the manager ruled out the possibility of Thibaut Courtois staying in Spain.

Director Clemente Villaverde insists that the La Liga club are not interested in Mourinho's take on the talented young goalkeeper's future and intend to ignore it as they continue to pursue his transfer.

"I do not know why he said that," Villaverde said of Mourinho's declaration that Courtois is staying a Chelsea player. "You would have to ask him.

"I can say that we are very happy with Thibaut and that Atletico Madrid will do everything possible for him to stay with us. Normally when I negotiate with Chelsea, or any team, it is not a negotiation with the coach. Never."

Atletico are keen to sign Courtois permanently after a successful and extended loan spell with the club.

The Belgium international is also pressing to resolve his future but would like reassurances from Mourinho that he will be given a chance to oust Petr Cech if he returns to Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho said earlier this week that Courtois' time at Atletico, where his loan stay is in its third season, will soon be up.

The Portuguese even ruled out the possibility of his club's rising 21-year-old star becoming a part in an exchange deal for coveted striker Diego Costa.

Villaverde spoke out on Canal Plus after Courtois was again outstanding in Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg at Athletic Bilbao.

A string of quality saves helped keep Madrid in the game in the first-half, before goals from Raul Garcia and Diego Costa brought a 2-1 win [3-1 on aggregate] to set up a two legged semi-final clash with Real Madrid.

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