David De Gea
David De Gea was close to join Real Madrid from Manchester United in the summer of 2015. Getty


  • Speaking exclusively to IBTimes UK, Cañizares addressed the goalkeeping dilemma at the Santiago Bernabeu.
  • Former Spain international believes position is perfectly covered with Keylor Navas and Kiko Casilla.
  • However he predicts that Florentino Perez will try to sign the one of the two PL stoppers.

Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares believes that Los Blancos should stick with Keylor Navas rather than breaking the bank to sign Thibaut Courtois or David De Gea this summer. However, he still expects president Florentino Perez to ignore his advice and try to make either the Chelsea number one or the Manchester United ace his new Galactico signing.

The current Champions League holders have reportedly earmarked the signing of a new stopper as the top priority for the coming summer transfer window, with Navas struggling to rediscover last season's form in the current campaign.

Both Marca and AS have reported in recent weeks that the current keepers at Chelsea and Manchester United are the main candidates, with Real Madrid officials now discussing who would be a better fit at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Cañizares has no doubts of the two former Atletico Madrid keepers' abilities, but told IBTimes UK Real Madrid should instead keep their faith in Navas.

"I do not think Real Madrid need a new keeper because the position is well covered with Keylor and Kiko Casilla. However, what I believe doesn't matter because Florentino 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," the former Real Madrid custodian said to IBTimes UK.

"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."

Cañizares grew up at the Real Madrid academy and knows all to well of the pressures that come with being a top La Liga goalkeeper. He won the Champions League in 1997-98 and two La Liga titles with Los Blancos before enjoying 10 successful campaigns at Valencia – where he won two more domestic titles and one Uefa Cup.

Santiago Cañizares
Santiago Cañizares is currently a popular TV pundit in Spain. Getty

The former Spain international believes that the scrutiny over Navas is solely as he doesn't have a high profile, but remains unconvinced whether signing the Chelsea or the United keeper 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," Cañizares 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."

Cañizares believes that the desire of the two former Atletico Madrid keepers to return to Spain and be close to their families may also play a significant role.

Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois spent three seasons at Atletico Madrid and still has his wife and daughter in Madrid. Getty

"Florentino knows that De Gea would be delighted to return to Spain because we all have a personal life and we have a special relationship with the countries where we come from. I imagine that De Gea is not only motivated by playing in a club like Real Madrid but also in being close to his family and girlfriend." Cañizares added.

"It is difficult for both [De Gea and Courtois] to say no to a club like Real Madrid. They are at Manchester United and Chelsea but Real Madrid are also a big club. Obviously, if the two have family in Madrid they would be happier to live here than in other place."

It has been said that De Gea's move to Real Madrid will depend on whether Manchester United qualify for the Champions League.

However, Cañizares 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."