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Arsenal join Real Madrid in race for €20 million-rated Brazilian forward

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Photo by ANDRES LARROVERE/AFP via Getty Images

There is a lot of excitement generated by the name of Endrick in the Spanish capital. The Brazilian protege, after all, is one of his country’s brightest young talents and is said to have what it takes to become the next big thing at Real Madrid.

Los Blancos, however, still have their eyes on the Brazilian market. As revealed earlier today, Real Madrid are in the race to sign 20-year-old Marcos Leonardo of Santos FC and could make a swoop for the star as early as January.

Tight competition

Earlier today, word had it that the men in white would have to battle it out with Newcastle United to sign the young centre-forward.

GE Globo in Brazil is now reporting that the Magpies are not the only obstacle lying between Real Madrid and Leonardo.

According to the Brazilian publication, Arsenal have joined the race to sign Leonardo and thus add pressure from England, with the Premier League giants also scouting the young striker.

Although there has been no concrete move made by any interested party beyond tentative enquiries, the growing interest becomes an issue for Los Blancos if they are serious about signing the 20-year-old forward.

It is thus Real Madrid’s turn to act and maintain a clear estimate of how far they are willing to go to secure the youngster’s signature.

Interest growing in Leonardo. (Photo by Ricardo Moreira/Getty Images)

The next big number nine

Real Madrid’s style of counter-attacking football largely revolves around the centre-forward and his precision in front of goal.

Karim Benzema ticked all the boxes during his time at the club, but Los Blancos have not found an able replacement after his departure.

20-year-old Leonardo, on that front, would serve as an optimal option. With 21 goals and four assists in 45 games this year, he has the required X-factor in the final third.

Moreover, Santos would be willing to sell the striker in the coming January transfer window. They demand a fee of €15 to €20 million for his acquisition, a number that is not steep in today’s inflated market.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid identify two major areas of threat from Borussia Dortmund

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The players in the Real Madrid dressing room are well aware that they are considered the favourites for the upcoming Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund. 

According to journalist Jorge Picon, the team’s performance in the final stages of the season has boosted their confidence and everyone in the squad believes they have a great chance of winning the final.

Despite this, though, there are some concerns about one player and two potential threats from the opposition. 

Now, Real Madrid are good at handling the pressure that comes with being the favourites, but they know that Dortmund are a team that cannot be underestimated.

Real Madrid aware of the threat Dortmund pose

This confidence, however, does not translate into arrogance. Real Madrid understand that Dortmund have the ability to cause them problems. 

To address this, manager Carlo Ancelotti must focus on two key challenges: dealing with offensive transitions and defending set pieces.

Dortmund are not a team that exert high pressure on their opponents, but they are very dangerous on the counterattack. 

Borussia Dortmund are very dangerous in set pieces. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

They play a direct and vertical style of football, relying on quick, few-touch plays to move the ball up the field. Instead of building play slowly from the back, they often utilise Mats Hummels’ ability to make precise long passes to players running behind the defence.

In terms of set pieces, Dortmund pose a significant threat with their tall players, as Niclas Fullkrug, Mats Hummels, and Nico Schlotterbeck are all over 1.90 meters tall, making them dangerous targets during corner kicks and free kicks.

Dortmund’s forwards are quick

Speed is another factor that Real Madrid need to be wary of. This is because Karim Adeyemi is a particularly fast player who can break through defensive lines with his runs. 

He usually plays on the wing and can switch sides with Jadon Sancho, but Adeyemi is considered Dortmund’s main offensive weapon due to his pace and ability to exploit spaces. 

While Sancho is also a skilled dribbler who can take on defenders one-on-one, Real Madrid has two reliable full-backs in Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy who will be tasked with stopping him.

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