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REAL MADRID

Gold Cup action to see Navas miss much of pre-season

Madrid has informed the Costa Rican of the interest from Manchester United and Valencia. Costa Rica start their Gold Cup campaign three days before Madrid return for pre-season training.

Keylor Navas is facing a difficult situation this summer beyond the news surrounding David de Gea’s possible arrival and the future of Iker Casillas. The goalkeeper will not get to meet his new coach Rafa Benítez and will not be able to fight for his first-team place until after the Gold Cup has finished (July 8-27). The Madrid squad will return to training on July 12 but the Costa Rica goalkeeper will be representing his country three days earlier and could miss the entire tour of Australia and China because under FIFA rules he is bound to play with his country.

The Costa Rica goalkeeper will have to give up 21 days of holiday because the tournament will end at the earliest on July 15. That could extend to July 27 if Costa Rica reach the final and if they do (a possible scenario given how well they did in the World Cup last summer) Navas could miss four of the six pre-season matches with Madrid. His only chance to play will be the Audi Cup on August 4-5.

Navas is facing a complicated summer even before the signing of De Gea. His thinking, however, is stubborn: “I will stay to fight for a starting role.” He has the least rest out of all of the current Madrid squad (James, Danilo and Casemiro will play in the Copa America but will all have more holidays). Navas joined up with Costa Rica last week and was a substitute in the friendly against Colombia. He will not have any days off beyond June 20, when he celebrates his wedding with Andrea Salas in San José. On the Thursday he will start for his country in a friendly against Spain and on the 27th he will be involved in another friendly against Mexico before the start of the Gold Cup.

Real Madrid has told him that Valencia, Manchester United and Liverpool have asked about his situation. In addition, Rafa Benítez showed he has him in his thoughts during an interview with El Larguero: “Casillas or De Gea? I wanted to say this, that I think Keylor Navas is a good goalkeeper. If you have good goalkeepers, the more you have as a coach, the better.” Navas arrived at Madrid last summer for 10 million euros and has a contract until 2020.

 
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