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Atletico's Simeone quiet on availability of Chelsea's Courtois

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has remained tight-lipped regarding the accessibility of Thibaut Courtois for the Champions League semi-final.

Los Rojiblancos meet Courtois' parent club Chelsea in the final four first leg of Europe's premier club competition at the Estadio Vicente Calderon in Spain's capital on Tuesday, April 22 before the return bout at west London's Stamford Bridge eight days later.

Talented 21-year old Belgian goalkeeper Courtois, in his third season on loan with Atleti, is eligible to take on the Blues in the two-legged tie under UEFA rules after European football's governing body released an official statement touching on the matter.

It had been widely reported that Atletico would have to pay Chelsea around £2.5million (€3m) for Courtois to play but when quizzed on the issue, Simeone had little to offer, other than his thoughts on the upcoming clash with Jose Mourinho's men.

"It is a very tough opponent. They recently won the Champions (League)," Simeone told AS.

"Surely, many players have improved over the time since. It will be played in a beautiful environment with a very capable coach. It is important for couples tie the football attraction."

In regards to Courtois, Simeone added: "Nobody told me anything of Courtois. I cannot comment anything."

The former RacingGenk custodian has made 32 La Liga appearances, producing 18 clean sheets this season, as well as nine in the Champions League for the high-flying Atleti who sit three points clear of arch rivals Real Madrid at the summit of Spain's top flight.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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