Real Madrid linked with Costa Rica’s Levante goalkeeper Navas

Costa Rica's Keylor Navas proved to be one of the best goalkeepers of the World Cup.   

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to sign Costa Rica’s World Cup hero Keylor Navas after paying the goalkeeper’s release clause, according to reports in Spain.

Leading sports newspaper Marca claims the European champions have activated Levante keeper Navas’ 10million euro release clause, paving the way for the international to move from the Valencia region to the Bernabeu.

The transfer would, however, have ramifications for Madrid stopper Diego Lopez, who Marca reports is set to move to either Serie A side Napoli or Monaco.

DIZZYING SWING

Lopez was Madrid’s first-choice goalkeeper in Primera Division matches last season but club captain Iker Casillas started every game in the Copa del Rey and throughout Real’s successful Champions League campaign.

However, the signing of 27-year-old Navas, whose outstanding performances in Brazil helped his nation top Group D and reach the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time, means serious competition for Casillas.

The 31-year-old flopped in Brazil, conceding seven goals in Spain’s defeats to Holland and Chile which saw Vicente del Bosque’s side crash out of the tournament at the group stage.

Last month Levante president Quico Catalan denied Real Madrid had moved for Navas, but acknowledged his club had rejected an offer from Real’s local rivals Atletico, who had offered 6million euros plus winger Leo Baptistao.

Bayern Munich were believed to be in the driving seat to sign Navas, but Marca claims the goalkeeper will begin next season in Madrid, the club only confirming his move officially once Lopez’s future is resolved.