But for now, the director of football has two names on the table that have an advantage over the rest of the keepers the club has looked at, but he’s yet to make a decision.
The two goalkeepers that have everything going for them right now are Marc- André Ter Stegen and Thibaut Courtois. Ter Stegen is Zubizarreta’s favourite and Sandro Rosell prefers Courtois. The two parties should now agree and give reasons for their choices.
The athletic director has already made a first contact with Ter Stegen , specifically with his agent Gerd vom Bruch and Borussia Mönchengladbach last week. Zubizarreta believes Ter Stegen is more than prepared to take over from Valdes as he is a young goalkeeper who will fit into the Barcelona’s style of play.
Ter Stegen is putting in good performances in the Bundesliga and, taking into account how the market is going, he would not suppose an excessive outlay for the Catalan giants. The Catalan club hopes to sign him for a figure of around 10M euros.
The board of directors however, prefers to play it safe with a consolidated goalkeeper who knows the Spanish League, has the approval of the fans and is used to the pressure of playing at a big club. One of the keepers who meets all these requirements is Courtois. His role at Atletico Madrid has been essential to the Madrid club who are in an envious position in the Spanish league and the Champions League.
However, the choice of the Belgian has a couple of drawbacks. The first is his price taking into account that he actually belongs to Mourinho’s Chelsea and would not be easy. In fact the London club have said they are counting on him and the club shouldn’t forget that the keeper’s wages at Athletic are much higher than that of Ter Stegen’s at Gladbach.
The second disadvantage would refer to the role of the Barca president. His detractors might accuse him of interfering in the decisions his technicial staff. Rosell has already been attacked for suggesting the recruitment of Tata Martino and the signing of Brazilian Neymar who nobody specifically asked for.
However, it does appear that the two goalkeepers would be willing to sign for the Catalan club. Courtois said he does not plan to return to Chelsea to be Cech ‘s understudy and Ter Stegen says he doesn’t want a song and dance made out of his decision. However, the German goalkeeper must still convince his club, which has denied any intention to sell him.
Gladbach coach Lucien Favre was stated as saying this past weekend: “I have the feeling that Ter Stegen will stay. “ And the German club’s sporting director Max Eberl added: “We are holding intense talks to renew. My feelings are good. We feel he will continue here for much longer than people think.”
Keep in mind that Zubizarreta’s agenda also includes other names apart from the two listed above but do not have any advantage over the main two. One of them is Pepe Reina, who now plays for Napoli. Zubizarreta himself acknowledged last week: “I like many goalkeepers.”