Manchester United and Chelsea may be able to breathe a sigh of relief over the futures of goalkeepers David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois respectively after it was reported that Real Madrid are closing in on a deal for Roma's Alisson and look set to keep Keylor Navas.
A report from AS has described Alisson, who is also a rumoured target for Liverpool, as being 'close' to joining Los Blancos. It is said negotiations are at an 'advanced stage' and the player's international colleagues in the Brazilian World Cup camp are well aware of the situation.
Apparently, Roma gave permission for Real to speak with Alisson and his representatives when a fee upwards of €70m, a world record for a goalkeeper, was mentioned.
Roma president James Palotta even appeared to confirm the deal on Thursday morning when he spoke to journalists in Italy and said, "Alisson has a high market value, around €78m. He is close to Real Madrid."
However, the Giallorossi chief later backtracked and claimed he had been joking.
"I read with a lot of fun that I made some statements about transfers. I was joking with a group of guys and I responded sarcastically to the popular rumours in the newspapers and on Twitter while I was in Italy," he said in a statement released on social media.
Pallotta : “Ho letto con molto divertimento che avrei rilasciato alcune dichiarazioni su tema mercato. Stavo invece scherzando con un gruppo di ragazzi e ho risposto sarcasticamente secondo le indiscrezioni in voga sui giornali e su Twitter mentre ero in Italia”. pic.twitter.com/A1m7l9nw2I— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) June 14, 2018
There has been a suggestion from the Manchester Evening News this week that Real would be willing to pay upwards of €100m for De Gea and believe they could finally get him. Similarly, Courtois, who is out of contract at Chelsea in 2020, has remained a rumoured target.
But Alisson now looks increasingly likely to move to the Bernabeu, and even current number one Navas also looks set to stay put 'regardless' of whatever else happens.
A separate report from AS explains that the Costa Rican will 'resist' any offers to move this summer and is also well liked by incoming coach Julen Lopetegui, who apparently wanted to sign him for Porto before he chose Real after the last World Cup.