Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo spoke to Spanish newspaper AS about the situation involving Thibaut Courtois and his parent club Chelsea FC. Cerezo was asked whether or not Courtois would play and he responded by saying that the young keeper will likely play against Chelsea but not without an agreement between the two clubs. This was in response to UEFA declaring that the clause preventing Courtois from playing unless there was a substantial fee paid was null and void because it violated their rules.
Cerezo’s statement to AS, translated from Spanish:
“I don’t know how many times I’ve repeated it, [Thibaut] Courtois is Chelsea’s player. We’re trying to get him on loan for another season. I think he’ll end up playing against them, but only if we reach an agreement with Chelsea. We’re gentlemen and we observe everything we sign.”
Atletico has a good thing going with Chelsea, they get a world class goalkeeper for pennies on the dollar and they do not want to ruin that. Some people had the feeling that Atletico has the leverage in this situation and to an extent they do as preventing Courtois from playing would be a PR nightmare for Chelsea and may also damage the relationship with Courtois himself. However they have every right to try and stop him playing but it is more likely that the two sides will come to an agreement. The most agreeable one for Chelsea fans would be to give the Blues a discount on striker Diego Costa or any other Atletico player the Blues may be targeting.
This is certainly not the last we will hear about the situation as the match is still more than a week away. It is clear however that Atletico will not do anything to endanger their relationship with Chelsea and have taken the right approach to the situation. UEFA may still have their say and may come down hard on both clubs if they sense that something fishy is going on. At the end of the day, no matter how many statements they release, they can not force a team to put a player in their starting lineup no matter what the situation is.
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