Real Madrid eye Thibaut Courtois replacement Unai Simon in £43m transfer from Athletic Bilbao

REAL MADRID are reportedly preparing a bid for young goalkeeper Unai Simon if Thibaut Courtois continues to flop.

The Belgian has not hit the heights expected of him at the Bernabeu, leading to Zinedine Zidane contemplating alternative options.

Real Madrid eye Thibaut Courtois replacement Unai Simon in £43m transfer from Athletic Bilbao4 Courtois is under huge pressure at RealCredit: EPA
Real Madrid eye Thibaut Courtois replacement Unai Simon in £43m transfer from Athletic Bilbao4 Big things are expected of Under-21 international SimonCredit: Rex Features

According to El Desmarque, Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper Simon has a £43million release clause and the La Liga team won't negotiate a lower fee.

Courtois, 27, will still get the rest of the season to improve and he hasn't actually made many high-profile errors.

But Real want their goalkeeper to be the best in the world and produce match-saving stops – that is where he is failing.

In seven La Liga appearances, Courtois has let in seven goals and made just eight saves – the lowest of any keeper who has played more than three times.

Before last night's 1-0 Champions League win over Galatasaray, Courtois had actually conceded more goals than he'd made saves across all competitions.

Real Madrid eye Thibaut Courtois replacement Unai Simon in £43m transfer from Athletic Bilbao4 Thibaut Courtois' shocking stats this season – before last night's game with Galatasaray

Simon, 22, boasts 17 saves from his eight games of 2019/20 with Athletic enjoying the league's joint-best defensive record.

There were concerns over his mistake that saw Los Leones drop two points at home to Real Valladolid on the weekend, the keeper fumbling a simple cross onto teammate Inigo Martinez and into the net.

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But these errors are more forgivable with young players and Simon is still seen as a future star of the game.

This isn't the first time Real have looked to Bilbao for a new keeper with Kepa Arrizabalaga touted for a switch before eventually signing for Chelsea, but Zidane snubbed that deal in favour of backing then No1 Keylor Navas.

With the Costa Rican now gone, and new back-up Alphonse Areola not highly rated in Madrid, the under-fire Blancos have Simon on their radar.

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Real Madrid eye Thibaut Courtois replacement Unai Simon in £43m transfer from Athletic Bilbao4

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