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Real Madrid quietly searching for Courtois’ ‘replacement’, 19-year-old Uruguayan on radar

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Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid faced a major blow during preseason this year as Thibaut Courtois picked tore his ACL in training. He was ruled out for essentially the entire season, and is still recovering from the horrible injury.

His deputy, Andriy Lunin, covered for him last season as well for seven games, keeping three clean sheets in the process. The coaches and the fans were equally happy with his performances, and he was expected to take over the goal in Courtois’ absence.

Madrid decided to pursue a new goalkeeper in the summer, though, eventually signing Kepa Arrizabalaga from Chelsea. The Spaniard put in a few decent performances before picking up an injury himself that gave way for Lunin to fill in.

While both goalkeepers have done well so far this season, it is clear that Madrid are not too happy with either. Reports confirm that Kepa will leave Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season to rejoin Chelsea, and Lunin could follow him out the exit door.

A report from AS, meanwhile, confirms that Madrid are ‘quietly’ searching for a new goalkeeper already.

Want a long-term solution

The Madrid board want a long-term solution in goal, and are looking for a young goalkeeper who can spend his first couple of seasons as Courtois’ deputy before takin over from the Belgian as the first-choice option.

Courtois’ current contract expires in the summer of 2026. He will be 34 by then, and while that is not particularly old for a goalie, Madrid want to have a long-term fix ready by then.

Randall Rodriguez on radar

One of the goalkeepers Madrid are keeping tabs on is Uruguayan wonderkid Randall Rodriquez. Currently 20, he plies his trade for Penarol in the Uruguyan Primera Division.

Rodriguez is very highly-rated in South America, and is expected to be on his way to Europe by 2025, if not 2024 already.

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Real Madrid News

PSG president wanted Real Madrid to bear Mbappe’s €80 million loyalty bonus

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

It is only a matter of days before Kylian Mbappe is officially confirmed as a Real Madrid player.

The French superstar announced his departure from PSG as a free agent recently and even though nothing is official yet, everything points to him arriving at the Spanish capital club.

An official announcement and presentation are expected to take place sometime before the UEFA Euro 2024 starts.

While the move is all but done, it appears that PSG, in particular president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, are left with a bitter taste over Mbappe’s imminent exit.

Al-Khelaifi wanted Real Madrid to pay €80 million

As has already been reported, Al-Khelaifi tried to convince Mbappe to snub Real Madrid by presenting various arguments which had no effect.

Now, French publication L’Equipe has brought forth a report which claims that the PSG president simply cannot accept the fact that Mbappe is joining Real Madrid for free.

And things are now happening behind the scenes which suggest that the Frenchman’s departure will be far from smooth and amicable.

Indeed, as per the report, PSG have not paid Mbappe his salary for the month of April as well as an additional bonus he was due.

This is because of the €80 million loyalty bonus payment that the club had made to the France captain back in February, even though he had waived it off after deciding not to renew his contract.

Headed for an ugly split with PSG. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

In August 2023, after he was frozen out of the team for refusing to extend his contract, Mbapp agreed to give up his loyalty bonus so that PSG do not suffer a huge financial hit as a result of his leaving as a free agent this summer.

However, Al Khelaifi made a U-turn and granted Mbappe the loyalty bonus in February this year, with the caveat that Real Madrid cover the €80 million as compensation for the 25-year-old leaving for free.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, however, refused that demand as he deemed that it was completely out of the question, as the La Liga champions are not obligated to pay for a player who will be out of contract in a few weeks.

A complete breakdown

Things have not been well between Mbappe and Al-Khelaifi ever since the player informed him of his decision to leave PSG.

The report suggests that the pair are no longer on speaking terms and that lawyers are involved in trying to resolve the matter of the unpaid dues.

PSG are looking for written confirmation that their all-time top scorer will waive the €80 million, which he had agreed to in the past, only for the club to make the payment.

As for Mbappe, he wants the money he is owed as part of his salary which was not paid in April.

Al-Khelaifi has not had the best relation with Perez either and this development further escalates the situation.

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