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De Gea, Courtois, Oblak or Donnarumma? Inside Real Madrid's search for a new goalkeeper

5:46 AM EST 2/2/18
Real Madrid GK GFX
The Merengue have four names on their shortlist to replace Keylor Navas, but they will face a tough battle to land any of the stars they covet

While Real Madrid continued their transfer inactivity over the course of January, the goalkeeper position continues to give Florentino Perez sleepless nights. A new face between the posts to replace Keylor Navas this summer is a near certainty - and the Merengue will not lack for options. 

A new No.1 was, in fact, Real's first and only priority for the window that slammed shut on January 31. Athletic star Kepa was approached by Madrid, but chose to underline his loyalty by signing a new contract at the Basque club. 

That decision leaves Costa Rica international Navas in the hotseat for the next few months. After the World Cup, however, he might find his place compromised by the arrival of one of the world's elite goalkeepers. 

A shortlist of four makes up Madrid's shot-stopper wishlist for 2018-19 - but who will eventually get the nod and move to the Santiago Bernabeu?

David de Gea

A name that has long been linked with the Blancos, but conversely one of the toughest transfers to complete. De Gea is under contract until 2019 at Old Trafford, a deal which Manchester United are currently trying to renew. 

The Spain No. 1 additionally has no release clause in his contract that could trigger a blockbuster sale and is happy with life in Manchester. Perez, however, is a huge admirer and could move mountains to get his man. 

De Gea has remained tight-lipped on his contract situation, but one of the keys for a successful renewal at United will be their chances of winning trophies. He did not move to Manchester to pick up consolation prizes like last year's Europa League and League Cup double; this season, meanwhile, the Premier League is all but out of the Red Devils' grasp, leaving just the Champions League as the big prize on offer. 

Should United fall flat in the knock-out phase, Madrid might just glimpse a window of opportunity. The transfer would not come cheap though: €80-100 million would be needed to convince the club to sell.

Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois Chelsea Arsenal

Similarly to De Gea, the Belgium star and - also like his United rival - former Atletico shot-stopper's contract will be up in 2019. Again, it does not contain a release clause. Courtois had been expected to renew last autumn, but there is unlikely to be any update on his future until the summer break. 

Chelsea are keen to tie him down to another long-term deal: at the tender age of 25, Courtois still has his best years ahead of him as a keeper. But it will not be an easy task. Paris Saint-Germain are big fans of his abilities, though personal issues might push him back towards a return to Madrid. 

Courtois has been offered to Real in the past and would be available for a fee worth roughly €80m.

Jan Oblak

Jan Oblak Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid's Slovenia international has conceded a miserly 54 goals in his first 100 Liga outings, a record that far outstrips luminaries like Victor Valdes, Courtois or Iker Casillas at the same milestone. It is precisely that talent that has tempted Real to try and lure him across the divide in the Spanish capital and swap red and white for plain white. 

Oblak's contract is up in 2021, and he has a buyout clause worth €100m. Atletico are unsurprisingly pushing for a fresh renewal, although at the start of January the 25-year-old affirmed that he had not talked to the club and that the decision was not yet in his hands. 

The goalkeeper was tempted to leave last summer but decided to stick it out at Atletico due to the club's transfer ban making the signing of a replacement impossible. The summer could see him seek a new club, although Madrid may have to fight off interest from PSG if they wish to complete a deal.

Gianluigi Donnarumma

Gianluigi Donnarumma Milan

At just 18 the AC Milan wonderkid is by some distance the youngest goalkeeper on Madrid's shortlist. There is no buyout fee in his contract, but that does not necessarily pose a problem: incessant quarrels between agent Mino Raiola and the Milan hierarchy, as well as a frosty relationship with the Rossoneri support, who turned on him with insulting messages from the stands after recent transfer speculation, could push him towards the exit this summer.

Donnarumma is reportedly keen to join one of Europe's strongest clubs and fight for top honours, a privilege he looks unlikely to enjoy at San Siro as Milan likely prepare for yet another season without Champions League football. The Italians could sell for €80-100m, while his sale could also help towards lowering the club's Financial Fair Play liabilities for 2018-19. 

Real Madrid are confirmed admirers of the remarkable teenager and made overtures last summer before Donnarumma signed a fresh deal with Milan.

Additional reporting by Kris Voakes, Nizaar Kinsella and Simone Gambino.