UEFA may intervene as much as they like, but Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo says that the Spanish outfit will honour the Thibaut Courtois loan agreement between Atletico and Chelsea. Courtois has been playing at Atletico for the last three years and it looks like they are looking to extend the deal by another year. Courtois has become one of the finest goalkeepers in Europe during this period and he is a vital cog in Diego Simeone’s team.
UEFA said last week – ahead of the 2014 Champions League semi-final draw – that they would make sure that Chelsea can’t prevent Courtois from playing in the semi-final. Cerezo says that the relationship with Chelsea is much more important and that he would discuss with the Premier League outfit about this situation. According to AS, he said:
“If we reach agreement with Chelsea he will play, because he is a Chelsea player and we are gentlemen and we deliver on what we sign.
“I am convinced that he will play because there will be an agreement between Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and the goalkeeper.
“And if in the end he does not play, then Aranzubia [number two goalkeeper] will do it.”
Champions League semi-final betting is set to get unprecedented interest this season – one can learn about the history of online gambling sites – and Chelsea are still the rank outsiders at 9/2 to win the competition.
Chelsea are heavily interested in Atletico striker Diego Costa and rumours have suggested that the blues could actually strike £5 million off his transfer value in exchange for allowing Courtois to play in the semi-final. Courtois may just be a goalkeeper, but he could prove to be the difference between winning and losing because he is that good.
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said that the blues will not interfere in Atletico’s team selection.