Real Madrid appear almost certain to sell one of their two star goalkeepers this summer. It was widely speculated last year that Keylor Navas was certain to leave the European champions whenever their €40m deal for Thibaut Courtois was completed.
However, the Costa Rican number one stuck it out in the Spanish capital and continually referenced his contract at the club and even stating ‘he would rather die’ than leave the Bernabeu. The dramatic statement certainly conveyed his point – this was a player who could only see a career going one way after leaving Madrid, down.
Navas was selected for the first two La Liga games of the campaign under Julen Lopetegui but not used in the league thereafter, when Courtois assumed the number one role. He featured just twice in five months under Santiago Solari, Lopetegui’s successor and it appeared his future at the club appeared to be short.
Yet just as a series of other established Madrid players – most notably Marcelo and Isco – Zinedine Zidane’s return to the club seemed to be a turning point. Navas has been selected as started in five La Liga matches across April and made a series of fine saves in each. Now, the future of both him and Courtois appears unclear.
“I would understand if a goalkeeper asked me to leave for the next season, it could happen,” Zidane said of the subject, as cited by El Espanol. “I said recently that I had the best three, both are there and there is another young man who has a very good future. Keylor and Thibaut are very good, I must choose just one of course and that is a complicated thing for me when I have to choose what is better for the team.”
Courtois appears to be the better all-round goalkeeper, and alongside the time and money the club invested into his signing a year ago, it would appear logical that he would be the number one going forwards. Yet Navas won three Champions League titles for the club and has proven not only very loyal but hugely important. He keeps producing the big moments and appears to have the lasting trust of Zidane.
Both are far too good to be the number two at any clubs. Could Paris Saint-Germain swoop for one of the shot-stoppers? Or may Manchester United look to replace David De Gea? Navas and Courtois would appear to be excellent alternatives who may be available.
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