Real Madrid currently boasts one of the finest young squads in the world. With most positions on the field having a long-term fix ready, the club is destined for greatness.
The only missing piece in the puzzle, arguably, is the absence of a big-name finisher.
Real Madrid have actively been following both Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland on that front, although both plans are still speculative.
Romano downs Haaland talks
Earlier this month, there were talks of Real Madrid stepping out of the race for PSG’s Mbappe.
The French striker has repeatedly rejected Los Blancos’ advances, after all, and the talks of a possible renewal with PSG did not go down well in Spain.
Reports thus stated that the club’s priority would now be Manchester City sensation Erling Haaland.
According to an update from Fabrizio Romano, there is nothing concrete between the Norweigan international and Real Madrid in terms of transfer talks. The situation is quiet on Haaland’s side.
The reliable Italian journalist further adds that Haaland’s agent being at Santiago Bernabeu in the team’s win over Braga had nothing to do with the Premier League ace’s transfer.
Rafaela Pimenta, Haaland’s agent, also represents other upcoming players in Europe and was discussing their potential arrival with the Spanish giants. One such name she represents is Marcos Leonardo of Santos.
An unreal force
Real Madrid and Manchester City were the final two clubs left in contention for Haaland’s signature in July 2022 after the long-drawn transfer saga.
The player, however, opted to join Pep Guardiola’s side and has tasted UEFA Champions League glory with them as well.
Yet, Los Blancos refuse to budge in their stance to sign him and it does not require much digging to understand why.
Last season, Haaland scored a staggering 36 goals and provided eight assists in the Premier League alone for the eventual champions. His form has been no less imperious this time around, for he has 13 goals in just 12 appearances in England.
Florentino Perez thus sees him as the ideal number nine for Real Madrid’s incisive style of football. After all, there is a clear void after the departure of Karim Benzema.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo