Keylor Navas has publicly defended his place in the Real Madrid side this week, after criticism regarding his recent form, which has led to speculation over his future at the club.
According to reports, Madrid are already close to signing a would-be replacement for the Costa Rican keeper, in the form of Athletic Bilbao’s rising star Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Kepa has impressed since coming through the ranks in the Basque country and has been touted as the future custodian of the national team, with his place in Spain’s upcoming World Cup Squad likely.
Ironically, he made his long-awaited debut for La Roja in their 5-0 trouncing of Navas’s Costa Rica, although the 30 year old was absent from the team through a thigh injury.
The 23-year-old star has been unsettled for over a year now, and embroiled in a dispute with Bilbao regarding the intricacies within his current contract. Despite the fact that his current deal with the Basque club is set to expire next summer, it is thought Real are willing to pay the €20m buy-out required to release him in January.
In addition rumours continue to fly surrounding Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane’s coveting of Premier League stoppers David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois.
Despite the speculation, Navas has remained upbeat about his future and form in the Spanish capital, if a little pensive, telling Fox Sports (via Marca): “I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
“I must enjoy my career and being what Real Madrid is, you never know what may happen in the future. But the one that is here is me.”
The 30-year-old former Levante star also confirmed he is still working his way back to full fitness, after sustaining his injury on international duty, declaring: “I feel calm and I don’t feel any pain anymore and that is important.
“I can train to the fullest and be back again at the best level as soon as possible.”