By 90Min
October 24, 2019

Real Madrid have earmarked Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Unai Simon as a potential replacement for under-fire Thibaut Courtois, who has come under severe criticism throughout his time in the Spanish capital.

Courtois joined Los Blancos in the summer of 2018 after finally sealing a move away from Chelsea in order to be closer to his children, who live in Madrid, but has struggled to make a significant impact since his £31.5m move.

Unai Simon

After selling Keylor Navas to Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of £13.5m this summer - which included Alphonse Areola joining Madrid on a season-long loan - Courtois has taken up the role of the club's first-choice goalkeeper, but has failed to convince in between the sticks.

Prior to his side's Champions League win over Galatasaray, the Belgian had conceded more goals in all competitions than he had made saves, with the 12 he had shipped in forcing him to come under intense scrutiny from large sections of the fanbase. However, he did improve that record with a clean sheet against the Turkish outfit.

According to Spanish publication El Desmarque, Zinedine Zidane has now run out of patience with the 27-year-old, and has already targeted Simon as a replacement for the stopper, who has made 14 senior appearances for Athletic to date.

It is claimed that should Zidane remain in charge of the club next summer, he will look to sell Courtois and bring in the 22-year-old, who has a €50m release clause in his contract in Bilbao. El Desmarque add that Zidane has no faith in loanee Areola, who is likely to be sent back to Paris at the end of the season.

Athletic have the joint-best defensive record in La Liga this season, conceding just five goals in their nine matches to date; a record which is largely credited to the young Spaniard. Simon also boasts international experience, having played at every level up until and including the U-21s.

You May Like