Thibaut Courtois Can Definitely Face Chelsea Confirms Blues Chief Exec

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Courtois likes to play against Chelsea.

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay says the Blues will allow on loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to play for Atletico Madrid against his parent club in the Champions League semi-finals.

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The Blues were drawn against Diego Simeone’s side in today’s draw and travel to the Vicente Calderon Stadium on either April 22 or 23 with the return at Stamford Bridge April on 29 or 30.

The availability of Courtois is perhaps the most intriguing sub-plot to the clash. The Belgian is approaching the end of a third consecutive season on loan at Atletico from Chelsea and the young stopper has established himself as one of Europe’s best goalkeepers during his time in Spain.

Ahead of the draw, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo claimed  that his club would not play the 21-year-old because they could not afford the fee, understood to be in the region of £4.5m for the two legs but UEFA issued a strongly-worded rebuttal insisting such a clause was “null, void and unenforceable”.

Gourlay says the Blues will ‘evaluate’ UEFA’s stance and has stressed Courtois will play, if selected.

“The loan was arranged back in the start of the season. He can play against Chelsea, that’s never in doubt,” Gourlay told the BBC.

“Regarding the Uefa statement we’ll evaluate that in due course. As far as we are concerned we will comply with loan rules. He can play in both ties against Chelsea if selected. That is fact.”

It remains possible that Atletico, who want to take the Belgium international for a third consecutive season, will not play Courtois to avoid angering Chelsea, who see the youngster as their long-term number one.

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