EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY (Reuters) - Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas says the signing of Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois has not affected his desire to remain at the triple European champions as he emphatically ruled out leaving the club in order to be assured of first team football.
“Tell everyone loud and clear, I have as much enthusiasm for leaving Madrid as I do for dying,” Navas told reporters after Real’s 2-1 victory over AS Roma in a friendly at the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey on Wednesday.
The Costa Rica international joined Real in 2014 and has helped them win a remarkable three consecutive Champions League crowns between 2016 and 2018 as well as lifting the La Liga title in 2017.
The keeper’s long term future has often been in doubt, however. He was on the verge of joining Manchester United in 2015 when Real’s pursuit of David de Gea fell through on transfer deadline day, while the club also failed to sign Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga last January from Athletic Bilbao.
Navas’s status as Real’s number one is now seriously threatened by the arrival of Courtois, who was awarded the Golden Glove for being the best goalkeeper at the 2018 World Cup and signed from Chelsea on Wednesday for a reported 35 million euros (31.5 million pounds).
(This version adds dropped word ‘one’ in para 5)
Reporting by Richard Martin; editing by Sudipto Ganguly