It is no secret that Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane and his puppet master Florentino Perez do not see goalkeeper Keylor Navas in their future plans at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
For longer than Sunderland’s current winless home record, Los Blancos have been attempting to coax a reliable custodian to the club in the hope of finally being able to bolster someone in between the sticks who does not possess a similar level of occasional howler to that of David James.
It seems every transfer window has its sureties, with Arsene Wenger stating he had the chance to sign a now world-class player when he was still in nappies, Daniel Levy clutching hold of his purse strings tighter than the grip of an Eagle and, of course, the Spanish capital side being linked with a new shot stopper.
So with January fast approaching, let’s take a look at seven goalkeepers Real could capture to finally replace their unwanted Navas…
1. Gianluigi Donnarumma
AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was of particular interest to Real Madrid during the summer, with former Rossoneri club president Silvio Berlusconi stating Los Blancos had offered the teenage sensation a contract worth £87m to swap San Siro for the Santiago Bernabeu in June.
However, Real’s efforts came to no avail, and instead the four-times capped Italy international opted to stay with Milan and secure a new five-year deal with a reported £88m release clause included.
But that figure only has to be paid if the Serie A club reach the Champions League, something, after Vincenzo Montella’s side’s start, that seems unlikely.
This means Donnarumma would be free to talk to other clubs if a £44m offer was tabled, surely opening the door for Madrid once again in their pursuit of a replacement to Navas.
2. David de Gea
This transfer saga seems to have lasted nearly as long as the third Lord of the Rings film, with David de Gea being linked with a move to Madrid since the days of Rafa Benitez. Without a doubt the Spaniard possesses some of the finest goalkeeping talent in the world, and it comes as little surprise that a club to match are keen to capture the 26-year-old.
In 10 appearances so far this campaign for Manchester United the former Atletico Madrid youth academy graduate has kept eight clean sheets, conceding on average 0.4 goals per game.
Adding that to an area of the game Navas falls down in of a 100% claim success ratio, it would appearer De Gea could be the best possible option to end Zidane’s shot stopping worries.
3. Hugo Lloris
Hugo Lloris has proven to the Real managerial set up already this season that he is more than capable of earning his side vital points, with his save against Karim Benzema inside the Santiago Bernabeu just one moment of significance in his Tottenham career.
The Frenchman’s heroics in both legs against the 12-time Champions League winners may well have caught the eye of the 45-year-old manager and Perez, and even though the Spurs custodian has reached the ripe old age of 30, he still has many blockbuster saves in him yet.
4. Jan Oblak
When discussing the best goalkeepers in La Liga, Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Atleti’s Jan Oblak are two that instantly spring to mind.
However, whereas transfer dealings nowadays between the Catalonian-based Barca and the Spanish capital look about as likely as Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un separating their differences over a pint of Foster’s, things are not so hostile between the two Madrid clubs.
The “non-aggression pact” that is said to stop either club trading with one another unless specific permission is granted is something of a pipe dream, and, as they have shown in the past, if Real want someone badly enough, they usually get them.
5. Jiri Pavlenka
The mention of Werder Bremen’s Jiri Pavlenka may shock many in this list considering where the River Islanders currently find themselves in the Bundesliga, however looking a bit closer you can see that the current second from bottom side owe a lot of their frustrations to the other end of the pitch.
The 25-year-old has helped his side concede just 12 goals so far this term, only one more than Borussia Dortmund and the same amount as RB Leipzig, however the Green and Whites have netted on just three occasions, meaning if the Czech Republic international concedes it’s usually curtains.
Another factor in a potential move from Real on the 6’5 custodian is that both the transfer fee, considering Bremen are currently fighting for their top-flight lives, and the Czech’s wages will likely be relatively low in comparison to others.
6. Mile Svilar
Although Benfica’s Mile Svilar has not done himself any favours with a number of naive goalkeeping decisions of late, the 18-year-old still has a long career ahead of him.
There is no denying the youngest Champions League custodian in history is extremely talented, and the Belgian’s profile would certainly fit that of Real’s recent youth recruitment drive.
7. Alisson Becker
Similarly to the two previous, Roma’s Alisson Becker is another name that may surprise some in appearing in this list, however the Brazilian’s current goalkeeping record is almost second to none alongside Europe’s elite.
The Yellow and Reds current find themselves fifth in an extremely competitive Serie A, with a large portion of credit owed to the 25-year-old.
Eusebio Di Francesco’s side currently boast the best defence in the league, and by some way, with the Italian powerhouse only conceding five goals in their opening 10 games.
Becker himself has kept seven clean sheets in that time, an impressive feat baring in mind he has been forced into over five saves per game on average and has conceded only 0.5 goals per game in arguably one of the most attacking-focused leagues in Europe this year.