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Former Real Madrid striker reflects on failed stint at club, praises Benzema and Modric



Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with ATV (h/t MARCA), former Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic has admitted that his transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu came a tad too early in his career.

Jovic joined Real Madrid from Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer of 2019 after enjoying a spectacular 2018/19 campaign. The Serbian cost Los Blancos a whopping €60 million but never got going at the Spanish capital outfit.

Having failed to make any sort of impact, the 24-year-old finally called time on his stint at Real Madrid and joined Fiorentina this past summer.

Now, opening up on his experience at the home of the reigning Spanish and European champions, Jovic said:

“It was great. It was a great experience for me and I am very honored to have been part of the biggest club in the world. But I think I went to Madrid too soon.”

The former Eintracht Frankfurt striker added that Karim Benzema’s explosion and his own fitness problems also played a part in his struggles at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“Karim Benzema exploded and deservedly won the Ballon d’Or. At first, I was unlucky. First COVID broke out, then some injuries stopped me… but for me, it was definitely a great experience,” Jovic added.

Speaking of his former Real Madrid teammates, Jovic singled out Benzema and Luka Modric for praise, saying:

“I wouldn’t want to distinguish anyone for their playing qualities, but Karim Benzema has left a mark on me, and without a doubt also Luka Modric, who has always been there for me. Luka is one of the best players in the history of Real Madrid.”

On his decision to join Fiorentina, Jovic admitted that he made significant financial sacrifices to join the Serie A side and believes that it will be the ideal ‘springboard’ for him to bounce back.

“I decided to come to Fiorentina even though I had offers from bigger clubs. Not to mention the financial side. Everyone knows I made financial sacrifices to come here. I think coming to Fiorentina is a good springboard to get back to my old form and come back to a big club again.”

Since joining the Viola, Jovic has netted six goals in 18 matches across all competitions, double the number of goals he scored in 51 games during his time at Real Madrid.

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Real Madrid News

Manchester City join race to sign €40 million-rated Real Madrid target



Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Manchester City have now joined the ever-growing list of admirers for Celta Vigo midfielder and Real Madrid target Gabri Veiga, reports Jack Gaughan of the Daily Mail.

The 20-year-old midfielder has emerged as one of the breakout stars of La Liga this season, having impressed with his goalscoring abilities from the centre of the park. Indeed, the youngster has notched up nine goals in La Liga and his exploits have made the giants of Europe sit up and take notice.

Real Madrid are said to be interested in Veiga’s services heading into the summer. The Merengues have Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Dani Ceballos on expiring contracts and it is unlikely that all three will be renewed, especially with Jude Bellingham being on the agenda.

In case of Modric and Kroos, even if they stay, it will likely be for only a season at the most. Hence, Los Blancos could require more than one central midfielder come summer, with Veiga emerging as an option.

The 20-year-old was also attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid. Now, Manchester City have also jumped on the bandwagon of clubs interested in Veiga’s services.

The Cityzens, who are battling Real Madrid for Bellingham as well, are set to lose Ilkay Gundogan in the summer when his contract expires. Meanwhile, Bernardo Silva’s future is also far from certain, thus necessitating the signing of another midfielder.

Veiga has a release clause worth €40 million in his contract with Celta Vigo, which should not be a problem for either Real Madrid or Manchester City.

Celta Vigo president Carlos Mourino recently admitted that the midfielder could leave the club in the summer, saying:

“We don’t want to sell Gabri Veiga, but they are going to buy him from us. And we can’t do anything there. We know some of his offers and it is impossible to reach them.

“There are several teams behind Gabri. Real Madrid? They haven’t asked us, we don’t know if they will have called the player. Of the top 10 in the Premier League, four have asked about him.”

It will certainly be interesting to see whether Real Madrid are prepared to go all out for Veiga’s signing or decide to entirely focus on their pursuit of Bellingham.

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