Thursday, 30th June, 2011

Chelsea have had a bid rejected by Belgian champions Genk for their promising young goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, but are expected to return with an improved offer.

The 19-year-old shot-stopper was a key figure in Genk’s title victory last season and has long been aware of Chelsea’s interest in his services. Indeed, the keeper spoke out with excitement recently over the Blues’ plans for his ultimate progression to succeed Petr Cech between the sticks at Stamford Bridge.

But Chelsea will have to put a better offer in front of Genk to snare Courtois after Belgian broadcaster RTBF reported that a bid of €4M from the English side had been dismissed out of hand.

Chelsea are threatening to complete a triple summer swoop for Belgium’s brightest, with Courtois’ team-mate Kevin De Bruyne expected to join the Blues and Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku still tipped to head to Stamford Bridge.

In any eventuality, Courtois would not spend next season in England, with Chelsea proposing to buy the keeper and then instantly loan him back to Genk for the 2011/12 campaign.

With the Belgian club having made the Champions League by virtue of winning the Jupiler League, Courtois would gain far more experience and continue his progress all the more by remaining at Genk, so reason Chelsea.

The English side are now expected to consider their options before returning with an improved offer.

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