Thibaut Courtois set to seal Chelsea exit

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Thibaut Courtois is close to agreeing a deal that will see him spend a fourth season on loan to Atletico Madrid, reports Goal.

The future of the Belgian shot stopper has been in doubt for most of the season as Jose Mourinho refused to confirm whether he would be welcome back at Stamford Bridge next season.

Courtois has recently said that his future would be decided in the near future and it seems that his immediate future will lie at the Vicente Calderon, where his reputation has grown exponentially over the last three years.

"Next week I will announce my decision," the Belgium international explained in a radio interview in Spain. "I am not going to say if I will stay or not. What I will say is that next week I will announce my decision."

Mourinho had an enviable position. Courtois is considered one of the finest goalkeepers in the world and, at 21, is by far the best young goalkeeper in his age group.

It meant Mourinho would have to choose between ditching the ever-reliable Petr Cech in favour of Courtois or risk losing the youngster, who has just two-years left on his Chelsea contract.

Since Chelsea can not guarantee first team football at Stamford Bridge, it makes little sense for either party to demand a link up for next season, hence why another loan season at Atletico was always likely.

Chelsea will no doubt be keen to tie Courtois down to a long-term contract despite the fact that Cech is still only 31 and, in theory, has many years left at the top.

Courtois is yet to appear for Chelsea since signing for them in 2011 from Genk and will have to wait until at least the 2015/16 season to feature at Stamford Bridge in Chelsea colours.

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