Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is interested in signing Napoli midfield mainstay Stanislav Lobotka according to Italian journalist Valter de Maggio, as relayed by Mundo Deportivo.
Lobotka has been with Napoli since 2020, when he joined from La Liga club Celta Vigo. The 27-year-old has slowly grown into a permanent fixture in the centre of the park for the Partenopei and has been key to their Serie A title charge this season.
A defensive midfielder by trade, Lobotka has made 86 appearances for Napoli thus far, scoring two goals and setting up one more.
As per the report, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is a huge admirer of the Slovakian international and is keen on bringing him to the Santiago Bernabeu.
“A little bird told me that Ancelotti wants Lobotka at Real Madrid,” said de Maggio, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.
Real Madrid have a midfield unit brimming with quality even though they lost Casemiro this past summer. Aurelien Tchouameni has settled in well in the holding midfield role since arriving in the summer.
Along with him, Ancelotti also has the likes of Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. While the latter two are in the final phase of their respective careers, they are still going strong and could sign one-year renewals before the summer.
On top of that, Real Madrid have their sights firmly fixed on Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund as the final piece to complete their midfield transition.
So, quite how Ancelotti plans to fit Lobotka into his plans, if he is indeed interested in signing the Slovakian would be intriguing to see. He could be seen as a cover and competition for Tchouameni in the No. 6 slot.
The 27-year-old signed a new contract with Napoli in January, committing his future to the club until the summer of 2025. Whether there is genuine interest from Real Madrid’s part in signing Lobotka remains to be seen.
Real Madrid midfielder receives huge praise from ex-Barcelona star: “Has no limits”
Speaking in a recent interview with Fichajes.com (h/t GOAL), former Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has heaped praise on Real Madrid star Aurelien Tchouameni, while also revealing that he recommended the Catalans to sign him in the past.
Tchouameni arrived at Real Madrid this past summer in a deal worth €80 million plus €20 million in add-ons. Following Casemiro’s departure, he was thrust into the limelight right away by Carlo Ancelotti and the 22-year-old has not put a foot wrong since arriving.
Indeed, Tchouameni has become a key player for Ancelotti’s side and is currently starring at the FIFA World Cup 2022 with France.
Now, Fabregas, who had played with Tchouameni at AS Monaco in the past, has hailed the youngster, stating that there are no limits to what he can achieve.
During the chat, he also revealed that he had recommended Tchouameni’s signing to Barcelona but finances prohibited any move from happening.
“Yes, it’s true that I spoke to Barça about Aurelién. They wanted to start preparing the succession of Sergio Busquets and for me he was the perfect player. It was at a time when Barça were short of money and I don’t think they could offer more than €40 million,” he said.
“Then he signed for Real Madrid, he’s a permanent fixture there and he’s essential in the French national team. For me, Aurélien has no limits.”
Opening up on the first time he saw Tchouameni in action, Fabregas added: “I quickly realised he was not a player like the others. The first time I saw him was during a Ligue 1 match against Bordeaux with Monaco.
“I was on the bench and I was impressed with his performance. They beat us and I remember asking one of our assistants: “but who is this Bordeaux midfielder?”, he reminisced.
Fabregas also revealed that he was close with Tchouameni and the youngster sought advice from the former Arsenal captain, saying:
“I spoke a lot with Aurélien, we exchanged a lot of opinions, even when he came to the France national team. He asked me for a lot of advice about my career at clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, and FC Barcelona,” he said.