Courtois keen on Atletico extension

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is hoping he will be granted permission to spend a second season with Atletico Madrid, after enjoying a successful spell in La Liga.

The 19-year-old Belgian stopper moved to Stamford Bridge from Genk last summer, but was immediately loaned out to Spain, as Atletico sought cover for Manchester United-bound David De Gea.

Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas has high hopes for Courtois in the future, but with competition for places provided by Petr Cech and Ross Turnbull, the Portuguese tactician offered the talented teenager the chance to continue his development away from west London.

Courtois himself is grateful for the opportunity to play regular first-team football, and feels his development would be better served by an extended stay in Spain, rather than a place on the bench at Chelsea.

"A second year would be fine," he said. "That is a decision that depends on Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and me.

"There is time to decide because we are in January but I like Madrid, it is a very good club and if I can stay a second year here that would be great."

The arrival of Courtois has been regarded very much as a signing for the future - a view backed up by the fact the Belgian youngster penned a five-year contract.

Premier League

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