According to reports in London, Real Madrid are interested in signing Chelsea goalkeeper Rhibaut Courtois, but the English club have slapped at £65m (€82m) price tag on the former Atletico Madrid stopper, believing he is one of the top three goalkeepers in the world.
Incoming manager Antonio Conte has been doing his homework on Chelsea’s players ahead of his arrival after Euro 2016. And media reports suggest that he has apprehensions about the Belgian’s attitude after hearing concerning reports about the shot-stopper.
Courtois, who suffered a serious knee injury in training earlier this season, has doubts over the methods of the club’s goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon.
Indeed, the Belgium international has expressed his concerns to members of staff at the club’s Cobham HQ, something that has got back to Conte.
Lollichon is almost certain to remain at Stamford Bridge next season, Roman Abramovich staying loyal to the coach. And Conte fears the awkward dynamic between Courtois and Lollichon could provide an unnecessary headache for him next season.
When asked about a conflict between Courtois and Lollichon, current manager Guus Hiddink said:
‘They’re working with the group, they’re working as goalies do normally in their reduced area.
‘They are different personalities. But they do well, they are very professional, they work hard and I think that the most important thing is that Courtois recently said he is very happy at Chelsea and he will stay at the club.’
Real famously came within seconds of signing Manchester United goalkeeper David de Ge last summer, but Madrid president Florentino Pérez botched that deal.
I wonder what current Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas thinks of all this transfer speculation. The Costa Rican goalkeeper has been with Real Madrid since 2014 but until the departure of Iker Casillas, never really got a look in. However, since inheriting the number one shirt for the 2015/16 La Liga season, Navas has become a real fan favourite at the club.
The 29-year-old currently has the lowest goals to match ratio of Real Madrid’s last 20 seasons – meaning he has conceded the fewest goals, on average, in each match.
With a transfer ban looming for Real, is spending €82m to buy another goalkeeper really where the club should be spending their money?