Champions League draw: Chelsea weigh up pros and cons of allowing goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois on loan at Atletico Madrid to play

Chelsea had the clause inserted in his loan deal at the Vicente Calderon

Chelsea are facing a damaging row with Atletico Madrid about whether to allow their on-loan goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, to play against them if the two clubs are thrown together in Friday’s Champions League draw for the semi-finals and final.

It will be one of the proudest moments in Atletico Madrid’s recent history and the highlight of Courtois’ career but it could also spell the end of his participation in a competition he has dominated.

No keeper has let in fewer goals in this season’s tournament with the Belgian conceding only five. But a clause in his loan contract will prevent him playing against Chelsea unless the Spanish club are prepared to pay a huge fee to the Londoners, believed to be around £4.5m, for the two matches. A fee would also be due if the two sides were to meet in the final instead. Last night, Chelsea would not comment on the contractual situation.

“If I had the money I would pay for him to play myself,” said midfielder Koke, who scored Atletico’s winning goal against Barcelona this week. The club’s president, Enrique Cerezo, had earlier admitted that it was a “large sum of money” which the club “could not afford”.

Read more: Champions League semi-final draw LIVE

Courtois has delayed signing a new contract at Chelsea because he is unhappy at being owned by one club and playing for another. Unlike in the Premier League, clubs in Uefa competitions cannot ban players they loan out from lining up against them, unless the contracts between the clubs include clauses that mean the borrowing club must pay for the player to be eligible.

 

Chelsea inserted such a clause in Courtois’ latest loan deal at the start of the season after suffering at his hands in the European Super Cup in 2012. He hopes that Chelsea can be convinced to drop the fee as part of the final stages of the talks over a new deal.

The two parties are close to agreeing a five-year extension but are still in discussions over salary. Atletico are also considering the prospect of selling striker Diego Costa, who has a £32m clause in his contract, for a reduced fee to Chelsea this summer in exchange for Courtois playing for free.

It will be the first time in seven years that Barcelona have not been in the last four and with their transfer ban looming their immediate future in a competition they have won three times in the last 11 years looks bleak.

Lionel Messi and manager Gerardo Martino bore the brunt of the criticism for their defeat by Atletico. Statistics revealed Messi had run only twice the distance of his own goalkeeper Jose Pinto.

Martino was undone by his own words. “We weren’t really interested in Messi having a lot of participation in the game. We just wanted him to have one-on-one situations down the right,” he said.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Buddy DeFranco
people
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones