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Reports: Chelsea identify ideal replacement for Thibaut Courtois

Ashwin Asok
11.58K   //    13 Mar 2018, 12:25 IST

Chelsea v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Will the Belgian leave this summer?

What’s the rumour?

If reports from Talksport are true, Chelsea have identified AC Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma as a potential successor to Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian is stalling on a new deal and may head for the exit door this summer.

In case you didn't know:

Courtois joined Chelsea in 2011 from Genk for a reported €9 million. He was immediately loaned out to Atletico Madrid to fill the void left by David de Gea who had moved to Manchester United.

The Belgian cemented his position there and became one of the most promising goalkeepers in a span of three years. In 154 games for the Madrid club, he won the La Liga, Copa Del Rey and the UEFA Europa League.

He was recalled by Chelsea ahead of the 2014-15 season and has won two domestic league titles since.

Gianluigi Donnarumma was a virtually unheard name till 2015. The youngster shot into fame in when he became the second-youngest goalkeeper to start a match in the history of Italian football at 16 years and 242 days.

He slowly eclipsed Diego Lopez as AC Milan's first choice keeper and has played 112 times for the club and has not turned twenty yet. He is dubbed by many as the heir to the legendary Gianluigi Buffon.

The heart of the matter:

There have been constant speculations about the future of Courtois this season and it has multiplied of late. The Belgian is reportedly stalling on a new contract amid interest from Real Madrid.

Although Chelsea want him to extend his deal, Courtois is having second thoughts. He is valued at £45 million and his current contract runs out in 2019.

Donnarumma, on the other hand, tried to force a move away from the club last summer and his agent has fallen out with the AC Milan hierarchy as per reports.The keeper is a subject of interest from many European clubs and now, Chelsea are the latest club to be linked with the Italian. Although he is under contract till 2021, AC Milan may be willing to part with the Italian if their transfer fee is met. His current value is around £36 million although they are likely to demand a lot more.


Rumour rating/probability - 6/10

Although the future of both keepers are still a question mark, we do not have sufficient evidence yet to say that a move is close Courtois can still be at Chelsea next season if he signs the new contract which would stop Chelsea's pursuit of a replacement.

Video: Donnarumma in action this season

Author’s take

Chelsea need to persuade Courtois to stay as he is one among the top keepers in the world and has been vital to their recent successes. Even if he leaves, they need to find a good enough replacement or else it may have serious consequences. Donnarumma is one of the best prospects right now and he would not be a bad choice to replace the Belgian.