Real Madrid have signed two of the world’s best players this summer in Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni, beating the likes of Chelsea, PSG, Liverpool, and Manchester United to secure two star players. They are early winners of the transfer market, having already won the Champions League.
But Los Blancos are also monitoring top prospects around the world. In addition to keeping tabs on Youssoufa Moukoko and Endrick as future forward acquisitions, Real Madrid have been watching an American talent in promising 18-year-old goalkeeper Gabrial Slonina.
Many teams are linked to Slonina, including Bayern Munich and Chelsea. The latter appear to be the most strongly linked. In fact, even Fabrizio Romano reports that Chelsea is closing in on an agreement with the Chicago Fire and Slonina, stating the deal could be for 10 million euros.
Slonina is a talented young keeper who dreams of Real Madrid, but it looks like Chelsea will beat Los Blancos to this prospect.
Here are three reasons why this is an inevitability and why Real have not truly pushed the Blues to sign Slonina.
Real Madrid already signed a keeper prospect, Ferran Quetglas
Real Madrid fans want the team to be more aggressive when it comes to signing top prospects in Spain, as they have missed out on a few talents, including one recently head-to-head with Barcelona.
However, Ferran Quetglas can be counted as one prospect in Spain that Real have secured. And he is widely seen as the best keeper prospect in the country. The Mallorca U19 player was signed for free. Is he as good as Slonina? Maybe not, but nobody really knows. I can tell you this, though. He was a better deal, given he cost Real nothing.
Andriy Lunin has not left (yet)…and David Ospina would be the new backup
There are rumors that Andriy Lunin could be sold or loaned this summer. A loan would make a ton of sense, and the Ukrainian goalkeeper is not opposed to that. Lunin is just 23 and has already shown he can go toe-to-toe with the pros of LaLiga, having been Man of the Match in one of his league starts to close the season.
Lunin may be pushed by those around him to leave Real permanently, but he loves the club and does not want to go. There is a good chance Real can hold onto him or even sell him to maintain a portion of his rights, so they could buy him back down-the-road. It would be a long time before there is an opening with how good Thibaut Courtois is, but Lunin is still a Real Madrid player. And thus, paying 10 million euros for a goalkeeper is not really necessary at this point.
Plus, if Real need a new backup, they could sign David Ospina for free. He still has not signed a deal with Napoli despite them pushing for one, as he is maintaining his free agent status in case Real come calling.
Goalkeepers are not expensive
Thibaut Courtois is the best goalkeeper in the world, and Real Madrid paid 35 million euros for him when he was at the peak of his powers at Chelsea. Talk about a bargain.
Just this past summer, Milan signed Mike Maignan for under 15 million euros. He was one of Europe’s best keepers at Lille and was crucial to them upsetting PSG to win Ligue 1. And this season, he was one of Milan’s best players and by far the best keeper in Serie A en route to the Rossoneri finally winning the Scudetto.
The point is, if Real Madrid need a new keeper one day, they know they do not have to pay all that much to get him. If anything, given they have Lunin and Quetglas. On top of all that, imagine how cheap a backup like Ospina would be. Literally free, in terms of transfer value.
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So bidding with Chelsea for Slonina? He is a great talent and seems to be worth it for Chelsea, but from Real Madrid’s perspective, paying above their (low) internal limit for a keeper prospect would be nonsensical.