Atletico Madrid have confirmed that Thibaut Courtois will not play if they draw Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals.
Courtois has been on loan with the Madrid club since he signed for the Blues in the summer of 2011.
The highly rated Belgian goalkeeper has been a key member of the Atletico side which currently sits top of La Liga, and on Wednesday reached the semi-finals of the Champions League with a 2-1 aggregate victory over Barcelona.
Although Courtois is not barred from playing against Chelsea, the fee Atletico would have to pay to the Premier League club – reported to be be as high as £8million – is prohibitively expensive.
“If we draw Chelsea, Courtois won’t play. It is a figure we cannot pay,” Enrique Cerezo told Onda Cero.
Courtois is said to be keen on making his move to Atletico permanent, and there have even been reports linking him with a move across the Spanish capital to Real. Chelsea, though, who paid £7.9million for the keeper when they signed him from Genk 2011, still regard the 21-year-old as the long term, successor to Petr Cech.
Given his impressive form for Atletico, that succession may come sooner rather than later.