- Premier League
Chelsea's Courtois to decide on future next week
Thibaut Courtois says he will make an announcement on his future next week, with the Chelsea goalkeeper tipped to spend yet another season on loan at Atletico Madrid.
Courtois, 21, won the Europa League and Copa del Rey trophies during his first two years in Spain, and is now assisting Atletico in their challenge for both the domestic title and the Champions League in the current campaign.
The Belgium international's future has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks, with Real Madrid and Barcelona reported to be interested in a deal, although Courtois recently told Castilla La Mancha TV: "The one thing I have always said is that it's Atletico or Chelsea."
After another excellent performance in Tuesday's 1-1 draw in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at Barca's Camp Nou, he told Spanish radio show El Larguero that he would soon reveal his plans.
"Next week I will announce my decision," Courtois said. "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."
Despite having made a string of superb saves against Barca, thwarting Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi, Courtois underlined his disappointment at not being able to keep out Neymar's late equaliser.
"We are leaving satisfied," he said. "We have played a good game, and we could have scored some more goals. We defended well. It is a pity that I could get a touch to Neymar's goal but not get enough on it."
Courtois said that having an away goal through Diego's spectacular long-range strike does give Atletico a lot of encouragement ahead of next Wednesday's second leg at their Estadio Vicente Calderon.
"We have scored an away goal, so it is a good result," he said. "We hope to play a good game at home. We will try to play the same way, to defend well and score on the counter."
Before then, La Liga leaders Atletico will have to concentrate on Saturday's upcoming home game with Villarreal.
"We have put in a lot of effort to run [tonight]," he said. "Now we need to recover until Saturday. I hope we can win at home."