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Chelsea set to rival Real Madrid in pursuit of Bundesliga teenage sensation



Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Jude Bellingham’s pursuit was seen as a two-horse race for a long time, with Liverpool and Real Madrid being the most likely options on the table. The Merengues promised a strong sporting project to compete on all fronts while the Reds’ primary selling point was a return to England.

When Manchester City joined the race last week, it came as a massive surprise. By virtue of their world-class squad and coffers, Pep Guardiola’s side jumped right into the mix.

According to reports from Matt Law, there are more than just two Premier League sides eyeing the midfielder. Chelsea are very interested in signing Bellingham and are ready to make a move for him.

The London-based side’s interest in the youngster is not surprising, especially when one considers the panic-stricken approach their board has adopted after the recent slump in form. Chelsea have spent close to €700 million in the last two transfer windows and have a squad with obnoxious depth.

However, Graham Potter’s side do not present as a very tempting option from a sporting perspective. Chelsea are barely in the top half of the table with 22 games played and do not seem to have a plan in place.

Further, the heavy competition in the middle of the park at Stamford Bridge could deter Bellingham’s possible move.

Reports claimed that Florentino Perez is willing to shell out close to €130 million for the youngster as Carlo Ancelotti sees him as a non-negotiable in next season’s plans.

Real Madrid wish to make him their only big signing of the summer and see his profile as the perfect complement to Aurelien Tchouameni, Federico Valverde, and Eduardo Camavinga.

But with Chelsea now joining the bandwagon of suitors, along with Liverpool and Manchester City, Real Madrid will have their task cut out if they are to secure the signing of the 19-year-old midfield sensation.

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Real Madrid News

Rival watch: Barcelona midfielder essentially ruled out of Real Madrid clash



Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

In what could be a real deal breaker for Real Madrid ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg clash against Barcelona, it has been revealed that as many as three Barça will be absent from the game while another key player remains a major doubt.

The list includes the likes of Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Andreas Christensen. The trio is certain to miss the game through respective injuries while a certain Frenkie de Jong is more or less ruled out, as per Javi Miguel.

It must be remembered that Barcelona are heading into the second leg with a 1-0 advantage. But the absence of the aforementioned players means Madrid can work on exploiting the frailties.

Despite the absence of such big names, Barcelona did pretty well against Elche in their previous outing, coming out 4-0 victorious, with the goals coming from Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres.

With options lacking in midfield, Xavi decided to use the likes of Sergi Roberto and Eric Garcia along with Gavi in the heart of the lineup. In any way, they do have Sergio Busquets and Franck Kessie as backups if needed.

The defence, on the other hand, was perfectly guarded by Jordi Alba, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde.

One can expect Xavi to once again interchange Araujo with Kounde on the right since the Uruguayan has been rather successful in minimizing the threat of Vinicius Jr.

As far as Madrid are concerned, they are sweating over the fitness of three key defenders, namely, Antonio Rudiger, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy. Between these three, the Frenchman is out for about a month while Rudiger and Nacho are expected to be back before the Clasico.

If there are no casualties against Real Valladolid, Madrid will have a perfect midfield and attack, with only Mariano Diaz missing. 

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