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Chelsea linked with discount Courtois replacement option as others vie for €100m Oblak and £60m Alisson

Butland? In what land is he a good choice?

Olympique de Marseille v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Europa League Final Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Thibaut Courtois’ future at Stamford Bridge has been cast in fresh doubt recently, in part due to developments at Real Madrid and in part due to the constant uncertainty at Chelsea and in part due to the fact that he has just one year left on his contract.

If the 26-year-old does not agree a new deal and leaves Stamford Bridge this summer, Chelsea will have to scramble to find a proper replacement. He may have his critics, but Courtois is still one of the best in the world. He may not be David De Gea, but he’s certainly not Ross Turnbull, and has quite ably carried on Chelsea’s fine goalkeeping tradition for the last four seasons.

According to the recent rumors, there are three goalkeepers who Chelsea may be looking at as potential replacements: Atlético Madrid’s Jan Oblak, AS Roma’s Alisson Becker ... and England’s finest (?) Jack Butland.

According to the Daily Mail, Alisson and Butland are the club’s main targets. Of those two names, it’s abundantly clear that Alisson should be the club’s main-er target. Roma are willing to listen to offers due to financial constraints and have set a £60 million price tag on their goalkeeper. While Alisson only has one season of being a starter under his belt, he would likely prove a great replacement for Courtois.

Recent reports have put Alisson at the top of Chelsea’s wishlist but with the club big on cost-saving measures lately, it would not be surprising to see the Blues go for a discount option ... even if we consider that Courtois would command a sizable fee and if we consider that the discount option is Jack Butland and for whom we’d still be looking at a fee in the region of £30m (at least matching Jordan Pickford’s British record). Butland is homegrown, so he’s got that going for him, but otherwise this would be a massive step down from the level of Courtois.

One goalkeeper who would certainly not represent a step down is the latest from Atlético’s goalkeeper factory. Jan Oblak, who’s carried on the proverbial blood line from De Gea and courtois, has a €100m buy-out clause and, like Courtois, has so far stalled over a new deal. According to reports, Atlético Madrid have resigned themselves to losing Oblak and have already started looking for replacements. That replacement could come in the form of Athletic Bilbao’s starting goalkeeper and Spain’s understudy to De Gea, Kepa, who has a €70 million buy-out clause.

Kepa himself had been linked with Real Madrid, too, as their fallback in case their Courtois (or De Gea) pursuits don’t work out, which leads us to the next problem: Chelsea are not the only club looking for a goalkeeper this summer.

Both Champions League finalists, Liverpool and Real Madrid, are in the mix as well, for basically the same big-money targets. Which could leave Chelsea with Butland, which would make this a pretty sad land indeed.

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