Hold on tight casual fans of the beautiful game. The long-serving figures standing between the posts for many elite teams are set to swap jerseys in the coming months.
The summer transfer window of 2015 may go down in the annals of football lore as the most seismic shift in the history of goalkeeper transfers.
As many European giants are bracing for a world without their respective goalkeeping all-star, the effects look to unfold like a Russian doll.
Each team’s move is predicated on if and when they are forced to relinquish the rights to their keeper, and here are our predictions of how the dominoes will fall.
Please keep in mind, this is ALL speculative.
In: David de Gea
Out: Iker Casillas
David de Gea’s meteoric rise, coupled with St. Iker’s painful dip in form has seen the former Real Madrid captain and Spanish #1 has set the table for a new era at the Bernabeau.
Casillas has been in the net for Real Madrid since 1999, but his decline has been in full effect since Spain’s catastrophic 2014 World Cup campaign.
De Gea is the future for Spain, which typically means he is the future for Real Madrid (or Barcelona). Real Madrid president Fiorentino Perez looks poised to make De Gea his newest Galactico.
United has offered De Gea a fatter salary if he chooses to reject Real’s overtures, but at this point it is highly unlikely.
Casillas has said he is not afraid to battle for his spot, but that fight will be in vain.
In: Hugo Lloris
Out: David de Gea
United must be quick on their feet if the De Gea transfer saga drags out into July.
The Red Devils already have a decent contingency plan in Victor Valdes, but are hoping they can lure France’s starter away from North London.
Lloris has said he will not be drawn into any transfer speculation and has rejected all talk of a transfer to United as purely conjecture as long as David De Gea is still at Old Trafford.
De Gea’s departure seems imminent, which makes the Lloris transfer increasingly likely. It’s hard to upgrade from David De Gea, but Lloris is one of a select few who can safely say are a tier above the wiry Spaniard.
In: Petr Cech
Out: David Ospina
Petr Cech doesn’t want to sit for another campaign. When you’re still one of the top 10 keepers alive, why would you? He also wants to stay in London. He also wants to go to a club playing in the Champions League.
It was always clear where Cech wanted to land, but Chelsea’s reluctance to sell to a rival muddied his path. Now Jose Mourinho and co. have given up the ghost and will let Cech head to their heated rivals.
Ospina will likely stick around for a minute, but it is hard to imagine a goalkeeper in his form wanting to play second fiddle anywhere. If Ospina can string together some impressive performances during Copa America, Arsenal could generate a decent return on the Colombian shot stopper.
Cech’s departure will be the conduit to Chelsea’s signing of Stoke’s Asimir Begovic to provide the needed goalkeeping depth in a post Petr Cech world.