Thibaut Courtois hoping to emulate his idol Edwin van der Sar

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has given the clearest indication yet that he'll be Jose Mourinho's first-choice stopper next season after revealing that he was happy with the outcome of a meeting with the Blues manager. The Belgium international is set to return to the Premier League following a three-year loan spell with Atletico Madrid, and is hoping to have the same kind of impact that boyhood idol Edwin van der Sar had at Manchester United.

The Sunday Mirror reports how the 24-year-old held talks with Mourinho about his future back in May, and now looks set to move ahead of current number one Petr Cech by the start of the 2014/15 campaign.

"I can reveal now that I have had a big meeting with Jose Mourinho in May, before the Atletico v Barcelona game," confirmed Courtois. "We talked about my situation. And after this World Cup everything will be clear to everyone."

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The 6ft 5in stopper has built a reputation as one of the most impressive goalkeepers in the world at the moment, and is currently starring at the World Cup in Brazil where Marc Wilmots's side take on Russia in their second Group H clash at the Maracana on Sunday.

Fresh from winning the La Liga title with Atletico Madrid last season, Courtois also added a Champions League runners-up medal following final defeat against Real Madrid in Lisbon last month.

Courtois looking to the future

And, as he looks ahead to his return to Stamford Bridge in pre-season, he'll be hoping to add to his medal collection as Chelsea aim to challenge for the Premier League title and gear up for another solid European conquest next year.

Despite not yet making an appearance for Chelsea in the three years since signing from Racing Genk, the custodian has confidence in his ability to succeed in England, and will take inspiration from former Red Devils star Van der Sar - a player he studied closely during his spell at Old Trafford.

Boyhood idol

"Edwin van der Sar is my all time hero, I have always looked up to him," he explained. "He followed a similar path. He first went to other countries, played for a big club in the south of Europe, then moved as a more experienced keeper to the Premier League.

"His style as a keeper at Man United was so similar as mine. We are both very tall, we are not the biggest built guys in goal and we both have this really cool attitutde under the most bizarre circumstances.

"I used to watch all his matches at Man United. Whenever he was playing, I was glued to the box. This is why I have learnt so much from him."

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Edwin Van der Sar
Belgium Football
Manchester United
Premier League

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