Real Madrid are likely to be in the market for a new keeper this summer as Zinedine Zidane’s current number one Keylor Navas continues to pose more questions than he answers for the Liga leaders, particularly after his blunder against Betis at the weekend.
Despite Navas’ struggles since he returned from injury, Kiko Casilla has not been handed sufficient chances to dislodge the Costa Rica international from between the sticks, suggesting that the Bernabéu board are looking further afield for a new number one.
De Gea and Courtois in the frame
The two most obvious candidates have been linked with a move to the Bernabéu before: David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois.
The Manchester United keeper almost joined Real Madrid two summers ago, until the now infamous non-intervention of the Bernabéu fax machine. Navas was himself at Madrid’s Barajas airport waiting for confirmation that he was to move to Old Trafford as part of the deal, which eventually descended into a fiasco as the paperwork was scattered to the four winds.
Another move for De Gea is far form out of the question, but Courtois is also a keeper who is admired at the Bernabéu after his impressive spell in LaLiga across town at the Calderón. However, the Belgium stopper appeared to rule out a return to the Spanish capital when asked by Spanish radio show “El Transistor” about his future and the chances of a return to Madrid: “No,” Courtois replied. “Right now I’m enjoying the success we are having here and I’m concentrating on that. I’ve spoken English since I was 10 years old.”
Courtois Chelsea form
Courtois had a run-in with Chelsea’s long-serving goalkeeping coach, Christophe Lollichon, earlier in the season that led to the latter being replaced as Chelsea did everything in their power to appease Courtois. Since then he has played 27 games in the Premier League and the 1-0 FA Cup victory over Manchester United on Monday night, keeping 14 clean sheets and conceding 20 times. By contrast, in the same number of games Navas has leaked 34 goals and manahed only five clean sheets this season.
Courtois’ contract at Stamford Bridge runs until 2019 and the club is eager to tie him down to a new deal with the keeper seeking a significant salary increase.
Read the preview, follow the build-up and enjoy live coverage of Atlético vs Leverkusen with the team at AS English.
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