Santiago Canizares believes his former club Real Madrid would be making a mistake trying to sign either Thibaut Courtois or David De Gea this summer, saying they should stick with Keylor Navas.
The Champions League holders are currently weighing up the prospect of making either goalkeeper one of their top summer targets, with Navas struggling to recapture his best form this season.
Both Marca and AS have reported in recent weeks that Real Madrid officials are now discussing which of the pair would be a better fit at the Bernabeu – and while Canizares has no doubts about the duo’s abilities, he told IBTimes UK that Real Madrid should instead keep faith with Navas.
“I do not think Real Madrid need a new keeper because the position is well covered with Keylor and Kiko Casilla,” he said.
“However, what I believe doesn’t matter because Florentino Perez is someone who usually doesn’t give up. He wanted De Gea in the past, it did not go well and it’s easy to predict that he will try to sign him again.
“I do not think that an investment of €40m (£34.2m, $42.1m) or €50m is justified because there is no such substantial difference between Keylor and them. But Florentino is not scared about those figures, he has proved it before. I think he still has a thorn in his side with De Gea [over his failed transfer to Real Madrid in the summer of 2015] and he’s going to try to sign him.”
Canizares, who won the Champions League in 1997-98 and two La Liga titles with Los Blancos before moving to Valencia, doesn’t think either De Gea or Courtois will prove a significant upgrade for Real Madrid.
“People demand a lot from Keylor because he hasn’t had a big career path. His mistakes are not forgiven. I do not think he is playing bad but his last season was excellent, he was at the level of the best goalkeepers in Europe. But people have in mind that Barcelona have a great goalkeeper in [Marc-Andre ter Stegen] and that Atletico Madrid have a magnificent one in [Jan Oblak]… That’s why many people dream of having one of the European greats at Real Madrid. That’s why De Gea and Courtois have been linked,” Canizares added.
“De Gea and Courtois have had a bigger career path but whether they are better or worse than Keylor depends on form. Last year they were not better, but this year maybe they are. Many times in the big teams what really matters is the name, especially at Real Madrid. Florentino is exquisite in that sense, he always likes to have biggest names in the world. That’s why I suspect that Florentino will try to sign one of those two in the summer. He is not scared of paying big money and is one of those who likes to get the thorns removed as it is the case with De Gea.”
De Gea’s potential exit could well depend on Manchester United’s ability return to the Champions League next season and Canizares added: “Manchester United are one of the most, if not the most, famous clubs in the world.
“I do not think that will influence De Gea’s decision. What is going to influence them is how far Florentino is ready to go, because luring either of them from Chelsea and United would demand a huge fee.”