• La Liga

Courtois wants quick decision on future

ESPN staff
January 9, 2014
Thibaut Courtois has been on loan at Atletico since 2011 © Getty Images

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois wants a quick decision made on whether he will return to play at parent club Chelsea next season.

Courtois, 21, joined Chelsea from Genk in July 2011, and was immediately loaned out to Atletico, where he has already won the Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and Copa del Rey.

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He has continued his excellent form this season, with Atletico currently challenging at the top of La Liga as well as having progressed in the Champions League as group winners.

Returning to Stamford Bridge as a back-up for current first-choice keeper Petr Cech, who is still just 31, would likely be difficult for a player who has also already established himself as Belgium's No. 1.

However, cash-strapped Atletico would struggle to meet Chelsea's likely €30 million-plus asking price, and a fourth consecutive season on loan seems unlikely.

Barcelona have been mentioned as a potential destination, given Victor Valdes is leaving, but Courtois' father recently played down those rumours, and the Catalan club are widely expected to sign Borussia Moenchengladbach's Marc-Andre ter Stegen, despite the German keeper's agent insisting no deal is in place.

Courtois, speaking after his outstanding display in Tuesday's 1-1 draw in the Copa del Rey last 16 first-leg tie at Valencia, told AS that he needs to know where he will be playing next season within the next few weeks.

"About my future, I cannot wait much longer," he said. "I need to make a decision with Chelsea as soon as possible, in March, but at the moment I do not really want to talk because there are so many games and you must be focused."

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