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The Belgium shot-stopper is close to finalising an agreement to play for the Spanish club for a fourth consecutive season after finding his Blues path blocked by Petr Cech

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Thibaut Courtois is on the brink of agreeing to stay at Atletico Madrid for another season on loan, Goal understands.

Chelsea are close to finalising a deal with the Spanish club for the Belgian goalkeeper to play at the Vicente Calderon for a fourth consecutive campaign.

Goal has learned that a meeting regarding Courtois’ future took place earlier this week and the groundwork of a deal is now in place for him to extend his spell with Atletico.

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Courtois is believed to be unwilling to link up permanently with his parent club for an entire campaign if he cannot be assured of first-team football.

Chelsea have been unable to provide that undertaking due to the continued fine form of established No.1 Petr Cech, who is still only 31 and contracted to the Europa League champions until 2016.

Courtois, 21, has not played a single match for the Blues since signing from Genk in the summer of 2011.

He is about to complete a third season-long loan at Atletico, where he has established himself as one of the highest-rated keepers in the game.

Speaking after Atletico held Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in their Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash on Tuesday, Gerardo Martino admitted that Courtois looked like “one of the best goalkeepers in the world”, while Diego Simeone said the youngster’s career is on a continual upward curve.

“He has improved a lot in the two and half years that he has been with us,' Atleti manager Simeone said. “He needs to keep getting better but it is clear that he is destined for big things.”

Speaking on Tuesday night to Spanish radio show El Larguero, Courtois said that he would soon publicly reveal his plans.

"Next week I will announce my decision," the Belgium international explained. "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."

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