With Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois having received intense criticism for his performances in recent weeks, the club has now reportedly identified a long-term replacement for the Belgian shot-stopper.
Courtois joined Los Blancos from Premier League club Chelsea last season, but has failed to live up to expectation during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu so far, with a string of errors and poor performances calling his position at the club into question.
According to El Desmarque, Real have grown frustrated by the 27-year-old's form and have now identified a replacement for him from one of their LaLiga rivals.
The Spanish publication reported that the Spanish giants have turned their attention to Athletic Bilbao, for whom 22-year-old goalkeeper Unai Simon has been in impressive form since assuming the No. 1 jersey.
Simon broke into Athletic's first team last season following Kepa Arrizabalaga's move to Chelsea and Iago Herrerin's injury, and has since solidified his status as the club's undisputed starter.
The former Spain youth international is said to be held in high regard by Real's coaching staff, who reportedly see him not only as an immediate successor to Courtois, but the long-term first-choice goalkeeper at the club.
Simon carries a €50 million (R813 million) release clause, which Zidane will reportedly look to activate at the end of the season – provided he is still in charge of Real at the time.
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