Real Madrid have drawn up a shortlist of goalkeepers that they would like to replace Iker Casillas in the summer and, along with Manchester United’s David De Gea, Thibaut Courtois has emerged as a top target. However, it remains to be seen whether the Spanish giants would meet Chelsea’s staggering price-tag.
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Just yesterday, astonishing reports cited in the Daily Express claimed that Real had made a bid of £73 million for the Blues stopper, and Belgium newspaper HLN has provided further insight into the news.
According to the Brussels-based tabloid, within the last two weeks the Liga BBVA heavyweights contacted the Premier League champions over the availability of their 23-year-old keeper, but were swiftly informed by Chelsea CEO Marina Granovskaia that he carries a price-tag of €100 million.
The newspaper claim that president Florentino Perez is a long-term admirer of the Belgium international. However, given David De Gea is available at a cut-price as he heads into the final year of his Old Trafford contract, it isn’t expected that Real will match a fee almost double that of the €5o million-plus transfer fee that Juventus paid Parma for goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon in the summer of 2001.
Iker Casillas’s form dipped in the season just passed and, according to Spanish broadcaster TVE, the 33-year-old has agreed to leave the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer. He departs after 25 seasons with the club, and is assessing offers from 10 other sides.
Only a day ago, reports in the Daily Star stated that a £22.1 million deal had been reached with Manchester United over the transfer of De Gea – and it could be soon that the Spaniard returns to his homeland, particularly now that HLN report that the Spanish giants will not meet the figure Chelsea want for Courtois.
David De Gea and Thibaut Courtois have been the standout performers in between the posts in England’s top flight this season.
In 37 appearances, the Manchester United keeper recorded 11 clean sheets, averaging 2.11 saves per game and registered an average claim success of 94%. The Chelsea stopper, in 32 appearances, registered 12 clean sheets, averaged 1.91 saves per game and boasts an average claim success of 100%.