Thibaut Courtois has revealed that Chelsea have told him he could spend at least three years out on loan before returning to challenge for the No.1 jersey at Stamford Bridge.
The 19-year-old Belgium goalkeeper is enjoying his first few weeks with Atletico Madrid and thinks that he may spend at least two seasons in Spain before joining another English team.
Chelsea signed Courtois from Racing Genk in the summer but immediately loaned him to Atleti on a one-year deal that the custodian already believes will be extended.
"Chelsea told me that I would spend two years in a team like Atletico," he told radio station Onda Cero.
"At the moment is only one year, but if they want me for a second Chelsea are fine with that. It is possible."
Courtois also revealed that he could spend time on loan at another Premier League club, naming Fulham and Tottenham as possible options.
"After that I would then spend one more season with an English club, like Fulham or Tottenham, to allow me to adapt to the English league.
"Then in the fourth season everything would be normal at Chelsea."
Courtois may return sooner than that if the Chelsea coaching staff's fears over current Blues keeper Petr Cech's long-term fitness come true.
"He is one of the best goalkeepers in the world," the young stopper continued. "But he has problems with his knees and with his back.
"The Chelsea goalkeeping coach (Christophe Lollichon) said to me that he does not know how long he can contninue to play at the highest level."
Atletico were keen to sign Courtois in the summer after selling David De Gea to Manchester United, with Los Colchoneros keen to buy him from Racing Genk before he moved to the Blues.
"Before Chelsea bought me Atletico wanted me too," he explained. "I like it here a lot.
"I know that David De Gea is a very good goalkeeper and it is difficult to start off here because the pressure from the fans as they are used to having a great keeper.
"But I did not have any fears. I just play my game. Now I am here I just want to help the team finish in the top four."