The specifics of this is yet another thing that someone "understands," so even though it's Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard who understands, it should be treated with just as much skepticism as when the Mail or the Mirror or Sky Sports understand. Understand?
Chelsea are on the verge of agreeing a five-year contract with Thibaut Courtois. Standard Sport understands negotiations are close to being concluded and that it is only the salary which is causing a delay with the goalkeeper wanting to more than double his wages.
-source: Evening Standard
We first heard rumors of a contract extension last week and this appears to confirm those Spainsh-sourced understandings with matching London-based ones. Hopefully that is indeed a sign that this thing will become a reality officially as well, tying the ultra-talented goalkeeper - for whose signature double the current wages sounds like a pittance - to Chelsea until 2019.
Last week's story claimed that the new contract would be followed by a fourth year on loan at Atlético Madrid, but not this week. Incidentally, this week's version of this part of the rumor is also sourced from Spain: a rather out-of-place sounding Antonio Sanz, agent to
the stars Fernando Torres. What's he got to do with it?
"The coach, very displeased with the performances of the Czech goalkeeper in the key matches of the season, has made it clear to the Chelsea directors that it is a moment for change. That they cannot neglect the best goalkeeper. That the time to prove his worth is over for Courtois. That he must be Chelsea's starting keeper in the 2014-15 season. And he made that known to him. A starting place is guaranteed."
-Antonio Sanz; source: El Confidencial via Evening Standard
Sanz goes on to claim that international man of mystery and part-time Stamford the Lion Henrique Hilário has been Chelsea's liaison with Courtois all along, finally revealing the Portugeezer's main purpose. Though then Sanz makes a silly claim about Hilário becoming Courtois's personal goalkeeping coach, which casts an extra shadow of doubt over everything else he's just said.
In any case, the important part is that the Courtois extension rumors are picking up, which is a welcome change from when all we heard was how Barcelona or Real Madrid or any other team with half a brain and lots of money would pluck the Belgian from our hands. Whether he stays at Chelsea or goes on loan again is somewhat academical at this point.