Real Madrid will reportedly allow Diego Lopez to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer. The goalkeeper had performed to distinction during his short spell with the club, but will be allowed to look for a more suitable long-term option elsewhere.
Down to third choice
Marca reports that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has elected to retain faith in club icon Iker Casillas, who was used only in cup competitions last season, while the acquisition of Keylor Navas has bolstered this department.
The arrival of Navas, the Costa Rica international, has suddenly pushed Lopez down to third choice despite his No.1 status in La Liga during the previous campaign, and Madrid are prepared to let him find pastures new.
There is a great deal of gratitude from the Champions League winners to Lopez, who was initially signed as cover for Casillas in January of 2013, and Madrid will reportedly pay out the remainder of his contract as a gesture of goodwill.
This will allow the 32-year-old to pursue a free transfer, and the clubs in contention to sign him are reported to be Chelsea, Monaco and Napoli, with all three sides unsure of their goalkeeper options ahead of the new season.
As far as Chelsea are concerned, Marca claim that their potential pursuit of Lopez will be hastened should Petr Cech be sold to Paris Saint-Germain, with the future of the Stamford Bridge mainstay seemingly unclear.
Thibaut Courtois has returned to Chelsea following his successful three season loan spell with Atletico Madrid, and there is an expectation among many that the Belgian will replace Cech as Mourinho’s first choice.
Indeed, Courtois would surely not have been brought back to the club were he not have genuine prospects of becoming the Chelsea No.1, and his performances with Atletico would suggest he is deserving of such a status.
Cech, on the other hand, does not deserve to be demoted or even shipped out given his supreme performances, which resulted in his position in the PFA’s team of the year for the 2013-14 season.
At 32, Cech still has plenty of years left in him at the pinnacle of the sport, but Chelsea clearly value Courtois too highly to allow him to leave, unlike many other loan players to have performed to well during spells away from the club.
Should Cech’s departure open up an opportunity for a pursuit of Lopez, it may be that the latter chooses to consider alternative options given that he is sure to want to sign for a side will be the leading gloveman.
Monaco and Napoli would likely represent that option for Lopez, and the former perhaps the most lucrative contract of the three interested parties.