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Thibaut Courtois confirms Atlético departure

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Julian Finney

Just in case there was any doubt about the fact that Thibaut Courtois was not going back to Atlético Madrid for another season on loan, the young goalkeeper has made a public farewell to the club on his Facebook page.

Having been at the club for three years and being integral to their transition from also-rans to La Liga winners and Champions League runners up (there was also a Copa del Rey in there), it's natural that Courtois has a close bond with the team that knocked Chelsea out of Europe last season, and I'm sure he's more than a little sad to be leaving the club.

But it's time for a new adventure, and it looks as though that will be at Chelsea*. Courtois said during the World Cup that his future would be decided after the tournament, so one suspects that a) this goodbye came after a conversation with Jose Mourinho and b) with Petr Cech still recovering from a dislocated shoulder we'll see a great deal of him in pre-season. Whether that's enough to secure a permanent place in goal, however, remains an open question.

*A loan somewhere else isn't out of the question, but it's hard to see where Chelsea would send him to that is both a step up from Atlético Madrid and not an obvious direct competitor for trophies.