By Chris Wright
Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has confirmed that the club will be unable to field goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in the Champions League semi-finals should the Spanish side draw Chelsea in the final four as it would trigger a clause in the Belgian keeper’s contract that would see Atleti forced to pay a significant lump sum to his parent club.
Courtois has been on loan at Atleti from Chelsea for the past three seasons and, should the two sides be drawn together, Cerezo confirmed to Spanish radio station Onda Cero that his side would have to stump up “a large sum of money” – anywhere from €2.5million to €8million across the two legs depending on which report you believe - to their opponents in order to field the 21-year-old Belgian stopper.
“The problem is whether Courtois can play if we get Chelsea in the draw,” Cerezo said. “There is something in the contract. For him to play we would have to pay a large quantity of money, a figure we cannot pay.”
As it stands, UEFA rules are in place to supposedly prevent players from being unable to feature against any other given club, though Platini’s gang are powerless to stop clubs inserting such clauses into loan contracts.