Keylor Navas Says He Will Stay at Real Madrid Despite Thibaut Courtois Signing

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 07:  Keylor Navas #1 of Real Madrid clears the ball against Roma during the second half of the International Champions Cup match at MetLife Stadium on August 7, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/International Champions Cup/Getty Images)
Elsa/International Champions Cup/Getty Images

Keylor Navas has made it clear he has no plans to depart Real Madrid now that Los Blancos have secured the signing of Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea

Navas has been Real's No. 1 for the last three seasons, and despite the inevitable challenge to his role from Courtois, he is not prepared to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, per Onda Cero (h/t Marca): "Of course, and I say this with force, I have the same desire to leave than I have to die."

After a summer of speculation, Chelsea confirmed on Wednesday they have agreed terms for Courtois to move to Real.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 14: A dejected Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea after Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona scored a goal to make it 3-0 during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC at Camp Nou on March 14, 2018 in
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

However, the Belgium international cannot expect to be an automatic starter for Real despite having established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe over the last four seasons as Chelsea's No. 1.

Navas, 31, has been almost ever present in the Real goal during their three consecutive triumphant UEFA Champions League campaigns.

He was also crucial in Real's 2016-17 La Liga victory under manager Zinedine Zidane and, with good reason, will likely not accept a back-up role.

Per Spanish football writer Dermot Corrigan, new Los Blancos boss Julen Lopetegui may opt for a policy of rotation in an attempt to keep both Navas and Courtois happy:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Seems decent chance we're going to see return of keeper rotation at Madrid - maybe Keylor in La Liga, Courtois in Champions League / Copa...

A former Atletico Madrid player, Courtois is five years Navas' junior, so he will inevitably take the No. 1 shirt permanently in the long term.

But Navas does not deserve to be relegated to the bench just yet, and it is clear he is not prepared to concede his spot without a fight. 


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