The contract renewal of Keylor Navas is a matter that the goalkeeper and Real Madrid had been working on for several weeks.
In fact, the first contact was made in Miami during pre-season when, at the club’s request, the first steps were taken in relation to discussing an extension.
The Costa Rican has now extended his contract until June 30, 2021, a year beyond his former deal.
That move now promotes two interesting scenarios for the coming month.
After more than a month without starting a game, Navas will return to the line-up as he defends his goal against Leganes in the Copa del Rey.
Scenario one: Preparing for a departure
The first of the two scenarios is to maintain the idea that was to be kept at the Santiago Bernabeu at the time Thibaut Courtois was signed.
That is preparing for a Navas exit as the goalkeeper of the three consecutive Champions League triumphs deserves to be starting somewhere.
The renewal puts both Madrid and Navas in a strong position up against any team who wants to sign the goalkeeper.
The club will not feel the threat that they would have previously when the Costa Rican’s contract was due to expire in 2020.
For the player, the salary improvement puts him in a solid position too at a time when he could negotiate a possible new deal with another club at 32 years old.
With a salary of five million euros net, it puts everyone concerned in a stronger negotiating position.
There aren’t many European goalkeeping positions which are currently vacant if you consider major clubs who could be on the lookout for a goalkeeper such as Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich.
If a call comes from Asia, then the renewal will prove a wise move from everyone concerned.
Scenario two: A guarantee as a substitute
The second scenario is that Madrid renewed Navas‘ deal in a bid to keep him at the club and to add excellent depth between the posts.
Nobody has any doubts about that the present and future of the club is Courtois.
But a club like Madrid need a number two who is an absolute guarantee in case of any inconvenience to their first choice such as injury, suspension or poor form.
The idea was for Andriy Lunin to work hard at Leganes and show that he can be the number two of the future.
However, the Ukrainian’s move has not worked out as Madrid had hoped as they kept hold of Ivan Cuellar and Mauricio Pellegrino, despite the economic penalties that came with it, has made it clear that his goalkeeper is not Lunin and is happy to take the hit to play his man.
Only with a Leganes‘ elimination of his current club could he advance further in the Copa del Rey and perhaps enjoy some rare playing time.
He will not appear against his parent club, though, due to the protection clause in his contract.
That means that at the Bernabeu, they understand that with every game that Kiko Casilla doesn’t play any role, he is unlikely to continue at the club.
Add to that the situation with Navas, who is about to be a father and is happy in Madrid; his opinion carries weight in the Madrid dressing room, too.
Those in the squad have not forgotten that he was a key figure in some difficult times, such as the semi-final of the Champions League last season against Bayern, and that his five seasons at Los Blancos have made him one of the leaders of the team.