Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti stated on Friday that the club is not actively seeking a new goalkeeper in the transfer market to replace the injured Thibaut Courtois ahead of the upcoming La Liga season.
Courtois is facing a substantial period on the sidelines due to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, an injury sustained during a training session on Thursday.
Ancelotti emphasized that Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Lunin is prepared to step into the role left vacant by Courtois. Courtois had been awarded the Yashin trophy last year, an honor recognizing the world’s finest goalkeeper.
During a press conference prior to Real Madrid’s inaugural La Liga match against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, Ancelotti conveyed his unwavering confidence in Lunin, labeling him as an exceptional goalkeeper. Ancelotti commended Lunin’s impressive performance throughout the preseason, underscoring his talent. While Ancelotti acknowledged Lunin’s lack of experience, he noted that such inexperience is typical of young players and stated that Lunin would gradually accumulate valuable experience over time.
Ancelotti also indicated that the club might still consider bolstering their goalkeeping options. He noted that there is a window of opportunity until August 31 to make any further signings. Ancelotti reiterated that the club’s reliance on Lunin remains steadfast, and any potential recruitment of another goalkeeper would be aimed at reinforcing the squad rather than diminishing Lunin’s significance.
The upcoming season signals the commencement of a fresh chapter at Madrid, coinciding with Karim Benzema’s departure for Saudi Arabia after an illustrious 14-year tenure at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The 14-time European champions have yet to secure a direct successor to Benzema, their second-highest all-time scorer. Nevertheless, they have made strategic moves, acquiring striker Joselu on loan from Espanyol and welcoming back winger Brahim Diaz after his productive three-year loan tenure at AC Milan.
Ancelotti, the team’s manager, expressed optimism about their forward lineup, citing the diverse array of options available. He highlighted the unique attributes that Joselu brings to the team, particularly his prowess inside the penalty area. Additionally, Ancelotti recognized Brahim Diaz’s ability to offer versatile solutions by operating effectively between the lines of the opposition’s defense.
While Madrid’s transfer activity has left its mark on the window, notably with the acquisition of England midfielder Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of 103 million euros ($113 million), the focus is also on rejuvenating the midfield. Ancelotti is keen on Bellingham’s potential to invigorate the midfield, which had leaned heavily on the experience of veterans Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in the previous season.
Ancelotti hinted at an altered role for Bellingham, suggesting that he could be positioned in a more attacking capacity compared to his previous roles at Dortmund and with the England national team. Ancelotti believes that deploying Bellingham in a higher position on the field would enhance his impact and render him a more potent offensive force, akin to a center-forward.
Madrid is determined to rebound from a lackluster performance in the last season, finishing a considerable 10 points behind Barcelona in La Liga and facing elimination in the Champions League semifinals at the hands of Manchester City.
In other fixtures this weekend, reigning champions Barcelona commence their title defense against Getafe on Sunday, while Atletico Madrid welcomes Granada on Monday.