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Chelsea open contract talks with key defender ‘admired’ by Real Madrid

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Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Dani Carvajal has been the mainstay at right-back for Real Madrid in recent years but is getting no younger. He turned 30 years old earlier this year and is headed towards the dusk of his career.

Lucas Vazquez has been a more than reliable backup option to the Spaniard, but the fact remains that he is not a natural right-back. In such a situation, Real Madrid are on the lookout for a top right-back to sign in the coming windows.

One of the names strongly linked with a move to the Bernabeu is Reece James. The Chelsea defender is one of the most highly sought-after defenders in world football after his consistent high-level performances over the last two seasons.

Needless to say, Real Madrid have taken notice of his abilities and are admirers of his talent. According to The Athletic, Chelsea are aware of the Champions League winners’ interest in James and have begun talks over a contract extension with the player.

The 22-year-old is currently one of the lowest-paid players in Thomas Tuchel’s squad. Three years remain on his current deal with the Londoners, but a tempting offer from a top European club could lure him away from Stamford Bridge.

Last season, the youngster made 26 Premier League appearances for Chelsea. In that duration, he scored five goals, provided nine assists and averaged over seven defensive actions per game.

His impressive performances at the club level earned him a starting spot in Gareth Southgate’s England side ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold. Needless to say, an extension with Chelsea will not stop Los Blancos’ pursuit of the player next summer.

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Real Madrid News

Benfica have no interest in selling Real Madrid’s midfield target in January – report

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Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s interest in Benfica and Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez is now a well-known fact. 

As quoted before, the 21-year-old has a release clause worth €120 million in his current deal and despite strong interest from several suitors, the Portuguese side has no interest in parting ways with the player in January.

The aforementioned information is relayed by transfer market specialist Fabrizio Romano, who also claims that Fernandez’s former side, River Plate, also have a ‘percentage of future sale’.

Enzo Fernandez has been one of the breakout stars at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The 21-year-old has played three games for his national team at the world event and despite playing deep, has returned with a goal and an assist.

Interestingly enough, the 2022/23 season is Fernandez’s first campaign in European football. The midfielder has been with River Plate since 2006 and only moved to Benfica in July 2022 for a fee quoted to be around €10 million plus €8 million in add-ons.

In his debut season with the Portuguese team, he has so far scored one goal in 13 league outings followed by three assists.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s interest in the Argentine does not really strike as any surprise. The team from the capital city is anyway looking for a long-term successor to Luka Modric, but as it turns out, Benfica will fight hard to retain their man as they do not wish to sell their asset in January.

From Madrid’s perspective, they are anyway not expected to make any big signing in January as their primary target is still Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham. The England midfielder is highly tipped to leave Germany at the end of the season and Madrid are said to be the most likely destination if not the Premier League.

In any way, the fee for Bellingham might as well rise upto €120 million given the interest he has generated across the continent so it will be upto Real Madrid to decide between the two.

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