Courtois, Kepa transfer rumors: What to make of Real Madrid, Chelsea and Bilbao's goalkeeper shuffle
It’s summer, and that means Real Madrid is after another big name goalkeeper to replace the always-reliable Keylor Navas. It’s been an interesting transfer window for the goalkeeper position, with Liverpool breaking the record transfer fee for Brazilian shot-stopper Alisson. And now, there’s Real Madrid’s pursuit of Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, and then Chelsea is reportedly set to buy a goalkeeper for a world-record fee, and it’s a goalkeeper most casual and even some hardcore fans don’t even know about. Here’s the latest:
Real Madrid eyeing Courtois, who has not reported to training
Real Madrid, often linked with David De Gea of Manchester United, is on the verge of signing Courtois, according to The Mirror. The Belgian international, who was the named best goalkeeper at this summer’s World Cup, is expected to sign with Real Madrid before the transfer window closes for Premier League clubs on Thursday.
He didn’t show up to the Blues’ facilities for preseason training, and wasn’t available for the Community Shield against Manchester City over the weekend. He appears to be forcing this move through, getting a return to Spain after playing on loan at Atletico Madrid earlier in this career.
Chelsea after young Spanish goalkeeper
Chelsea, meanwhile, is set to smash the transfer fee record for a goalkeeper, which was set when Liverpool bought Alisson from Roma earlier in the summer. The target is reportedly Kepa Arrizabalaga of Athletic Bilbao in Spain, whose release clause was triggered on Wednesday. According to ESPNFC, the suitor is Chelsea, with the player set to join officially in the coming days.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper has only played 53 matches for Bilbao but has already been capped by the Spanish national team. He’s looked at as the top goalkeeper prospect in the country and with the potential to become one of the world’s best. But an €80 million release clause, even in this transfer market, could end up being a risky move for the Blues if he doesn’t pan out. In the end, they seem to think can become the world’s best based on the cash that’s being splashed to acquire him.
What happens to Keylor Navas?
What else does this guy need to prove? He is no backup. The Costa Rica star, who went from Levante to Real Madrid, now may need to find a new home. He’s too good to not start, and there are some clubs around the world that could really use him — with teams like Juventus and Napoli coming to mind. He certainly can’t be thrilled to know his starting place may soon be gone, and it looks like he too will likely be gone from the Spanish capital before long.