CHELSEA No1-in-waiting Thibaut Courtois has extended his loan spell with Atletico Madrid into a third season, despite the Blues lacking cover for first-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech.
The decision is likely to force manager Jose Mourinho to sign reinforcements, with reserves Ross Turnbull and Hilario having been released on free transfers this summer.
Courtois, who turned 21 last month, has risen to even greater prominence in two hugely successful campaigns in Spain since signing for the Blues from Racing Genk in his native Belgium in 2011.
He quickly became Atletico’s regular stopper and followed a Europa League winner’s medal in his first season with European Super Cup and Copa del Rey titles last term.
Turnbull and Hilario were second and third choice last season but neither have had their contracts renewed, leaving Cech the only senior keeper.