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Manchester United could finally sell goalkeeper David de Gea to Real Madrid this summer, but only if they manage to sign Jan Oblak to replace him.
de Gea has been a target for Real for several years, and came close to signing him in 2015. Since then United have resisted all attempts from Real. Zinedine Zidane had been happy with current number one Keylor Navas, but since his departure it is thought the Real hierarchy favour signing a new keeper as they seek to refresh the squad.
But there are signs that United may finally let him go of Real come in for him again, according to Spanish news site Dario Gol. It is thought de Gea is keen to return to Madrid, having come through the ranks at Atletico.
And it is to Atletico that United are looking for his potential replacement. Slovenian Oblak has established himself as one of the top keepers in the world in recent seasons, keeping the most clean sheets in La Liga for the past 3 seasons.
He has been linked with a move away from the Spanish capital – Liverpool has been a mooted destination – although Atletico are keen to keep hold of him.
It is thought United would only sell de Gea if they have already signed his replacement.
Both keepers would doubtless command a world record fee for a goalkeeper. The current record is the £35 million Manchester City paid Benfica for Ederson last summer. It is likely both would warrant fees north of £50 million.
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Real Madrid are plotting to take advantage over the uncertainty surrounding Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois’ contract situation by making a bid for him this summer.
Courtois has just over a year left on his existing Chelsea deal, and while a new £200,000 a week contract offer is on the table he is yet to sign it. While the Belgian stopper did say in March he would be at Chelsea next season, that he hasn’t signed yet is causing worry in Chelsea ranks. Add to that the continuing uncertainty over whether manager Antonio Conte could depart this summer, and Chelsea’s failure to qualify for the Champions League next season, and conditions could be right for him to depart.
If Courtois indicates he doesn’t want to sign his new contract, Chelsea would prefer to sell him now, rather than have him run down his deal and leave for nothing in summer 2019.
Real are watching this situation closely, and could make an offer if the impasse remains – and there currently is little sign of progress.
Keylor Navas is currently number one at the Bernabeau, but there are doubts about his ability at the very highest level, including from Madrid president Florentino Perez, according to The Mirror. In addition, his back-up Kiki Casilla could move on in the summer.
Courtois has emerged as a favourite for a move, given that long-term target David de Gea is thought unlikely to leave Manchester United and would cost in excess of £100 million in any case.
A move to Madrid could appeal to Courtois given that he used to live there – he played for Atletico Madrid on loan for three seasons – and his former partner and two young sons live in the city. He is on record as saying he would like to move back to Spain to be closer to his family.