Real Madrid find new No.1 goalkeeper

Stuart Telford
Andrey Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga, RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid, Champions League, 2023/24

Thibaut Courtois hasn’t played a competitive game for Real Madrid since last June due to injury, and manager Carlo Ancelotti has suggested they have now found his long-term replacement.

Courtois underwent surgery after rupturing his ACL when the club were touring the USA last summer, and the club acted quickly to draft Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan from Chelsea.

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But the game’s most expensive goalkeeper – having joined Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao for an eye-watering €80 million in 2018 – has since lost his place to Andriy Lunin.

READ MORE: Latest Real Madrid transfer rumours

Real have since been linked with promising youngsters from around the continent like Icelander Stefan Stefansson and Ukraine’s Ilya Voloshyn, but both are in their teens, investments for the future.

‘Lunin gives guarantees’

And the reason Real are refusing to spend big on a new first-team goalkeeper has been made clear by Ancelotti, who suggests that Courtois may have his work cut out getting back into the team.

“We’ve found a great goalkeeper in Lunin, he can give us guarantees,” said the Italian coach, who will stay another two years after spurning the Brazil job. “We’ll see how Courtois and [Eder] Militao will return after serious injuries. We’re not in a rush.”

READ MORE: Real Madrid’s 10 most expensive transfers of all time

Lunin has eight clean sheets in 17 La Liga games since supplanting Kepa as No.1, with his €5.6 million FootballTransfers’ value set to skyrocket if he is indeed confirmed as first choice once Courtois is back.

Real, of course, are setting aside budget for other positions this summer. Kylian Mbappe will arrive on a free from Paris Saint-Germain, but the package to bring him to the Bernabeu should set the club back €225m in signing on fees and salary.

Madrid are also expected to pay around €50m for Bayern Munich left-back Alphonso Davies, who is refusing to extend his contract in Bavaria beyond its current 2025 expiry.

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