Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chelsea Boost as Real Look at Other Keeper; Spanish Club Turn Attention to Benfica's Ederson Moraes as They Search for a Cheaper Option. by Simon Johnson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chelsea Boost as Real Look at Other Keeper; Spanish Club Turn Attention to Benfica's Ederson Moraes as They Search for a Cheaper Option. by Simon Johnson

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson

CHELSEA have been handed a major boost in their battle to keep Thibaut Courtois as Real Madrid have started to look at Benfica's Ederson Moraes to be their new No1.

Courtois, who has just over two years left on his deal at Stamford Bridge, continues to be linked with a move to the Bernabeu. The Blues plan to offer the Belgium international a new deal, although Standard Sport understands talks have yet to take place.

Real have a shortlist of four keepers they would like to replace Keylor Navas next season and Courtois is on it, along with Tottenham's Hugo Lloris, Manchester United's David de Gea and Ederson. The Spaniards are keen to spend big in the summer but are unprepared to use up most of their funds on a keeper as they went to strengthen the attacking positions. And Courtois won't come cheap, as Chelsea have valued him at PS73million ever since Real first made an enquiry for him in 2015.

The 24-year-old has admitted he would like to go back to Spain one day, where he spent three years on loan at Atletico Madrid. His girlfriend and daughter live in Madrid, too, but Courtois has been back to his best at Chelsea this term and says he is happier than ever there.

Real know it will be difficult to prise Lloris and De Gea out of Spurs and United respectively. They have turned their attention to Ederson, who has begun to make an impact at Benfica and is the cheapest option. The 23-year-old joined from Rio Ave in 2015 but has only been playing regularly this term. His performances have also caught the attention of Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Diego Costa says he has Didier Drogba to thank for making his PS32m move to Chelsea a success.

Costa is on course to finish as the club's top scorer for the third successive season following his move from Atletico.

Drogba, who won 12 major trophies and was voted the club's greatest player by fans in 2012, was at Stamford Bridge during the Spain international's first campaign in west London. …

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