Real Madrid Transfer News: Los Blancos Reportedly Keen on Karlo Letica

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2018

CARDIFF, WALES - AUGUST 12: The Real Madrid club badge is seen on the pitch prior to the UEFA Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Sevilla FC at Cardiff City Stadium on August 12, 2014 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Real Madrid are reportedly considering signing Hajduk Split goalkeeper Karlo Letica as an alternative to Manchester United's David De Gea and Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois to replace Keylor Navas this summer.

Marca's Jose Felix Diaz and Sarah Salahpour (h/t Nathan Salt of MailOnline) reported Letica has caught the eye thanks to his rapid development at Hajduk.

Salt noted how Los Blancos are confident of winning the race for the 21-year-old stopper, who has drawn favourable comparisons with Atletico Madrid 'keeper Jan Oblak. Salt also detailed the more cost-effective nature of opting to sign Letica:

"Letica would also represent a much more economical deal with Courtois or De Gea, who both have a market value which would be a world record for a goalkeeper—Manchester City's Ederson is the current record at £34.7million."

Real are looking at a cheaper alternative to United No. 1 De Gea.
Real are looking at a cheaper alternative to United No. 1 De Gea.Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Salt concluded by saying that while Real had shown interest in Athletic Bilbao stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga, the club is now focused on a deal for Letica.

Signing a burgeoning talent plying his trade in Croatian football would be something of a risk for Real, despite Letica's rapid development. The gifted young goalie obviously lacks the name recognition and track record either one of De Gea or Courtois would offer.

However, Letica's potential is enticing, with the possibility he could develop into Real's trusted No. 1 for the next decade. Navas may be facing the axe, but his career at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium may encourage Real to take another chance on a relative unknown between the posts.

Signed from Levante for just £7.9 million in 2014, Navas has gone on to win an impressive haul of major trophies with Los Blancos. The Costa Rica international has collected two UEFA Champions league titles, as well as winning La Liga last season.

Real want an upgrade for Navas.
Real want an upgrade for Navas.Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Despite Navas rarely putting a foot wrong, though, Real have not stopped looking for his replacement. The club was recently linked with AC Milan's 19-year-old star Gianluigi Donnarumma, with the player's agent Mino Raiola telling RAI he should leave the Rossoneri, per Goal's Rob Lancaster.

Meanwhile, Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph reported in February how Real are keeping tabs on Courtois in case they can't bring De Gea back to the Spanish capital.

Signing either De Gea or Courtois isn't going to be easy, with Salt confirming United and Chelsea don't want to sell.

It means taking a closer look at a player on the rise such as Letica is a smart and creative way for Real to go about trying to refresh things between the sticks.


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