Real Madrid open to signing new GK – Ancelotti

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Carlo Ancelotti said Real Madrid could enter the transfer market for a new goalkeeper but backed Andriy Lunin to step in for Thibaut Courtois after he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear the day before the start of the new LaLiga season.

Courtois was hurt in training on Thursday, with Lunin, 24, set to deputise as Madrid kick off their 2023-24 campaign in Bilbao, away at Athletic Club on Saturday.

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However Ancelotti said that “numbers” might lead Madrid to move for another keeper, with sources telling ESPN the club are already looking at options with Sevilla’s Yassine Bounou as the number one choice.

“We’ve had an injury to an important player, but that happens in football,” Ancelotti said in a news conference on Friday. “Now we hope that Courtois can recover quickly and we give all the confidence in the world to Lunin.

“He’s a great goalkeeper, he’s shown his quality, and we have total confidence in him. We think he’s a talent. What he’s lacking is what everyone lacks when they start out. He lacks experience. He’ll get that game by game.”

Sources have told ESPN that Belgium international Courtois, who has starred as one of Madrid’s most important players in recent seasons, is set to be absent for six to seven months.

While insisting that Madrid have “total faith” in Lunin — who has started nine league games in five years at Madrid — Ancelotti accepted that the inexperience of the keepers at his disposal might force the club to enter the transfer market.

“I’m very calm,” Ancelotti said. “We have to think about it, and we have until [August] 31. After Lunin, we have young keepers like [Lucas] Cañizares and Fran [Gonzalez]. The season is very long. Fran is 17. If we think about signing a keeper it’s about numbers.”

Madrid play Athletic, Almeria and Celta Vigo away in the league this month before making their home debut against Getafe on Sept. 2.

They are looking to win back the LaLiga title this season after finishing ten points behind rivals Barcelona last campaign.

Sources told ESPN that while Bounou is Madrid’s preferred option, the club are looking at alternatives because of Sevilla’s financial demands and have sounded out free agent David de Gea and Chelsea‘s Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Bounou starred for Sevilla in last season’s Europa League win and helped his country Morocco reach the World Cup semifinals in Qatar.

He has already been subject to interest from Bayern Munich during this transfer window, but the Germans were put off by Sevilla’s asking price, with the LaLiga club asking for over €30 million.

De Gea left Manchester United this summer and was previously close to joining Madrid in 2015 but there is some debate within the club over his potential signing, while Madrid would favour a loan move for Kepa over a permanent deal.

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