Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cech Blow Could Give Courtois His Big Break at Chelsea

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cech Blow Could Give Courtois His Big Break at Chelsea

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson Football Correspondent

THIBAUT COURTOIS is set to get the chance to challenge for a first-team place at Chelsea this summer as Petr Cech is in danger of missing the start of next season.

Cech dislocated his shoulder playing against Atletico Madrid, where Courtois is on loan, on Tuesday night. Standard Sport understands Chelsea's No1 is facing up to four months on the sidelines and it is believed he will require surgery.

Courtois is aware the situation will have an effect on his future and where he might be playing next season.

As Standard Sport revealed earlier this month, the 21-year-old is in advanced talks over a new contract and an announcement is now expected after the second leg of Chelsea's Champions League semi-final against Atletico next Wednesday.

Courtois has been on loan at the La Liga club for three seasons and was prepared to go back to Vicente Calderon for another 12 months due to Cech's form.

But with Cech now possibly missing the start of the next campaign, Courtois will be given the opportunity to impress throughout pre-season at Chelsea instead.

Manager Jose Mourinho is a huge admirer of the Belgium goalkeeper and wanted him to compete with Cech for a starting position next season anyway.

At the moment Chelsea's other goalkeepers are Mark Schwarzer and Hilario and both are out of contract in the summer.

Atletico are still hopeful Courtois will join them for another 12 months but with Cech facing the possibility of making a late start to his preparations next term, Mourinho will be more reluctant to let him go.

Cech will now have to watch from the sidelines as Chelsea's hopes in the Premier League and Champions League are decided over the next week.

They play Liverpool on Sunday knowing defeat will end their chances of winning the title and take on Atletico three days later with the semi-final delicately poised at 0-0. …

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