Julen Lopetegui refuses to comment on Thibaut Courtois links

Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui refused to comment on the strong rumours linking Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with a move to the Bernabeu.

Courtois is reported to have stayed away from the London club this week in an apparent attempt to force a move back to the Spanish capital, having played for Real’s city rivals Atletico from 2011-14.

But Lopetegui was tight-lipped on the saga as he addressed his goalkeeping situation after a 2-1 friendly win over Roma in New Jersey, insisting that Keylor Navas remains his number one.

The former Spain coach said in quotes on Real’s official website: “I always say that I’m not talking about players who are not at Real Madrid.

“Keylor is our goalkeeper and there are no other goalkeepers I can talk about except Keylor, Kiko (Casilla), (Andriy) Lunin and Luca (Zidane).

“Keylor is phenomenal, he has our full confidence and is an extraordinary goalkeeper. He’s delighted to belong to Real Madrid and we’re delighted with him.”

Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic has been the subject of a move in the opposite direction.

Lopetegui added: “It’s true that Mateo has expressed his desire to leave. I’ve expressed my desire for him to stay. If he leaves, we’ll see how we organise things.

“The solution that we’d look for at the right time would be a player at Kovacic’s level, someone who is a top-level footballer.

“To compete all the objectives we’ve got, we need a balanced squad.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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