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Courtois could be made Chelsea No.1

ESPN staff
May 4, 2014
Thibaut Courtois was hailed by Jose Mourinho for his performance in Atletico Madrid's victory at Chelsea © Getty Images

Jose Mourinho is prepared to make Thibaut Courtois Chelsea's No.1 goalkeeper next season, according to the Sunday Times.

Mourinho hailed the Belgian, who is currently in his third year on-loan at Atletico Madrid, for his heroic performance in the Champions League semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

The Portuguese manager admitted Courtois had made an "impossible save" to deny John Terry and help knock his parent club out of the competition, but insisted he had no complaints at the goalkeeper's impressive performance.

In fact, it was the only the latest showcase from the 21-year-old, which has seen him earn high praise from both Atletico and the Spanish media throughout the season; praise which has attracted Mourinho's attention.

That could work well in the long run for Chelsea, with Mourinho thought to be considering a squad restructure in an attempt to adhere to UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. Mourinho's main priority bolstering his misfiring strikeforce, but a move for Atletico's Diego Costa could cost in the region of £50 million plus wage demands.

That would limit Chelsea's spending elsewhere and Mourinho may be forced to ditch some of his star names - he has already questioned the commitment of both Oscar and Eden Hazard - in order to meet financial regulations.

Courtois has just two seasons left on his Chelsea contract and Mourinho is of the opinion that loaning the 21-year-old out for another year could be detrimental to his chances of staying in west London. Petr Cech, who is facing shoulder surgery and may be ruled out of the start of the new season, could make way with Mourinho prepared to make considerable squad sacrifices to obey FFP.

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