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Chelsea in pole position to land €60 million-rated Real Madrid target



Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images

In a stunning series of developments, Chelsea have moved into pole position in the race to sign RB Leipzig sensation Christopher Nkunku, who is also on the radars of Real Madrid.

The French international has been brilliant since moving to the Bundesliga in 2019 and enjoyed the best season of his career to date last time out, finishing with a whopping 35 goals and 20 assists from 52 games in all competitions.

The 24-year-old has been in fine form this season as well, having already bagged 12 goals and two assists in 20 matches. Naturally, Nkunku’s exploits have attracted a lot of interest from top clubs across Europe.

Real Madrid have been keeping tabs on the former PSG wonderkid for a while now, but Chelsea have now taken the lead in the race to sign the versatile attacking midfielder, who can play anywhere across the frontline.

Indeed, as reported by Foot Mercato, Nkunku has already completed the first part of his medical to join Chelsea in 2023, with talks now ongoing between the Blues and Leipzig, while the Premier League giants will also start negotiations over personal terms soon.

Nkunku has a release clause worth €60 million in his contract, which is more than affordable for Chelsea. However, despite the recent developments, Real Madrid are still believed to be in the mix for the 24-year-old as they are still following his situation.

Given that the Frenchman can play in midfield or in attack, he has the potential to be a good addition at the Santiago Bernabeu. And the €60 million release clause is well within the reach of the Spanish and European champions.

However, with Chelsea making serious headway in the race to sign Nkunku, it remains to be seen if Real Madrid are able to claw their way back in or decide to pursue other targets, with Jude Bellingham also high on the club’s agenda.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report



Photo by DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.

The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.

Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.

This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.

Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia

Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.

With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.

Ancelotti to go with a makeshift central defensive pairing vs Valencia (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.

Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.

What are Ancelotti’s other options?

Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.

The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.

Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.

Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.

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