Costa Rica has reached its first ever FIFA World Cup quarterfinal, and one of the men who is the face of the team is Keylor Navas. Along with Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa, Navas is one of the goalkeepers of the tournament so far.
His dives and punches have garnered attention from big clubs around Europe. One of those is Bayern München, Sky Italia's Giancula di Marzio reporting that the Rekordmeister could be close to bringing the Costa Rican to Germany.
Keylor Navas, il portiere della Costa Rica. Ad un passo dal Bayern Monaco… http://t.co/O9D2xSO4vv— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) June 30, 2014
Translation: Kelyor Navas, the goalkeeper for Costa Rica. One step away from Bayern Munich
The 27-year-old Navas has one year left on his three-year contract with Levante UD in Spain. Atlético Madrid is also a potential suitor, according to AS, for they might lose Thibaut Courtois if Chelsea decide to keep him when he returns from loan.
Navas is not the only goalkeeper on a World Cup with a link to Munich. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Bayern had conversations with FC Genoa regarding their goalkeeper Mattia Perin, who was the third goalkeeper for Italy behind Gianluigi Buffon and Salvatore Sirigu. Genoa president Enrico Preziosiego reportedly wants €12 million for the 21-year-old, who is under contract until 2017.
Transfer News and Rumors
Transfer News and Rumors
With the rumors for these keepers heating up, one key question remains: does Bayern need another goalkeeper?
They currently have the best goalkeeper in the world in Manuel Neuer, who was named to his FIFA/FIFPro World XI for the 2013 season. His purchase from FC Schalke 04 calmed the goalkeeper turmoil in Louis van Gaal's last season in chargewhen the Dutch manager committed to a raw Thomas Kraft over a steady Hans-Jörg Butt. Bayern have won five major trophies since his arrival, including their first European championship since 2001.
Bayern have relied on his health though, the only contingency plan Tom Starke, who signed a three-year contract in 2012 on a free transfer from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. His performance has been mediocre when he has received a chance to play, making every Neuer knock a heart-stopping experience.
The 31-year-old Starke is in the last year of his deal, but he is interested in an extended stay in Munich. Lukas Raeder, who played three matches when both Neuer and Starke were injured, is out of contract this summer, and 18-year-old academy product Raif Husic just completed a transfer to SV Werder Bremen. Recent reserve transfers Andreas Rössl and Ivan Lucic would be the two goalkeepers who would get the call should the goalkeeper depth be as diminished as it was in April, which is a bit nauseating to think about.
Only one Bundesliga team that qualified for the Champions League had two goalkeepers that made more than five appearances – Schalke with Ralf Fährmann and Timo Hildebrand. By the same token, two of the teams that reached the Champions League semifinal, Real Madrid and Chelsea, had goalkeepers that could have stepped in should the No. 1 be absent with injury.
Still just 28 years old, life-after-Neuer talk is premature. Navas and Perin, should either be interested in a move to Munich, would not be making a move Munich for first team minutes, but perhaps an opportunity to work along side the best goalkeeper in the world is desirable nonetheless. The transfer window opens on Tuesday, so developments to a Navas move will come as fast as the shots that he has slapped away in Brazil.