For the better part of last season, speculation abounded on the topic of Thibaut Courtois’ club future.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper starred at Atletico Madrid in his third straight season on loan at the Vicente Calderon, winning an historic La Liga title and falling just short of securing the Champions League crown.
However, the figure of Petr Cech has presented an enduring roadblock to his return to Chelsea, leaving his Stamford Bridge future in doubt.
But on Sunday, Blues boss Jose Mourinho confirmed Courtois will return to West London this summer after concluding his time in South Amercica with Belgium.
Mourinho said: “When the World Cup in Brazil is over, Courtois will be coming straight back to Stamford Bridge - end of story.”
Courtois has now spoken out on the matter, showing affection for Atletico and the club’s fans after making 154 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros in three years.
“I have enormous respect for the Atletico supporters,” he told Cadena COPE programme El Partido de las 12. “It’s a shame to not have been able to say goodbye.”
The former Genk man understandably has a strong bond with the Madrid outfit, having risen to prominence there whilst winning four trophies along the way.
Though once the World Cup ends, his focus will turn to forging a future with the club that bought him as an impressive 19-year-old in the summer of 2011.
It remains to be seen how Mourinho plans to resolve competition between Courtois and Cech, with reports claiming Chelsea could listen to offers for the latter this summer.
Mourinho showed at Real Madrid he is not afraid to facilitate a changing of the guard between the sticks by dropping Iker Casillas, but only time will tell if a similar fate awaits Cech.