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Manchester United, Liverpool ahead of Real Madrid in race for €120 million midfield gem

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Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

SL Benfica and Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez is a wanted commodity in the transfer market after a stunning rise in stature over the past four-five months.

Already touted as a star in the making in his homeland, Fernandez moved to SL Benfica from River Plate in the last summer window and quickly became a key member of the Portuguese outfit.

Carrying that form to the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, Enzo Fernandez played an important role in Argentina’s triumph, and was even named the Young Player of the Tournament.

The 21-year-old has since become a transfer target for several top clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid.

Los Blancos are in the market for reinforcements in midfield as Luka Modric is in the twilight of his career while Toni Kroos is also reportedly considering retirement. Thus, Carlo Ancelotti & co. are on the lookout for a new midfielder, with Jude Bellingham their priority target.

Talks for the Englishman are set to begin next week, but Real Madrid are keeping their options open in case Bellingham proves to be costly or other clubs swoop him away. Fernandez, to that end, has been identified as the alternative to the England star.

However, according to journalist Gaston Edul, Real Madrid are currently trailing Premier League giants Manchester United and Liverpool in the race to sign Enzo Fernandez.

The report suggests that the Red Devils are leading the race for the 21-year-old, with Liverpool behind them and Real Madrid in the third position.

Fernandez has a release clause worth €120 million in his contract and Benfica are clear that the only way they will let him leave is if that clause is activated.

And reports have suggested that Manchester United are prepared to trigger the €120 million buyout clause in January itself. It potentially puts them in the driver’s seat when it comes to the Argentine international’s pursuit.

If the Red Devils do come out on top in this battle, it will leave Real Madrid and Liverpool sparring for Bellingham’s signing come summer of 2023.

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Real Madrid News

Transfer Triumph: In-demand defender picks Real Madrid above other suitors

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Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid have received a major transfer boost as Lille defender, Leny Yoro, has chosen to join Los Blancos over other interested clubs, reports Alejandro Alcazar via SPORT.

When Paris Saint-Germain attempted to negotiate a deal with Lille, offering more money than Real Madrid, Yoro made it clear he preferred the Spanish giants. 

Despite PSG’s efforts, including meetings with Yoro’s representatives, they could not convince him to change his mind.

Interestingly, the outlet mentions that Yoro is following a similar path to his compatriot Aurelien Tchouameni, who also chose Real Madrid despite competition from PSG and several Premier League teams. 

Real Madrid really value Yoro

Real Madrid see Yoro as a valuable addition, especially with the recent departure of Nacho. This move has made it crucial for the club to find a reliable replacement, and Yoro is their chosen candidate. 

It is to be noted that Yoro has one year remaining on his contract with Lille, who initially asked for a hefty €100 million transfer fee. 

Leny Yoro has picked Real Madrid over PSG, Liverpool and Man United. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

This amount was considered too high for a player who could leave for free after a year. Lille eventually reduced the asking price to €60 million, an amount that PSG and other clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool were willing to meet. 

However, Real Madrid were not prepared to pay more than €30 million, knowing that Yoro wanted to join them and could do so for free next year.

What is Real Madrid’s strategy?

It is said that Real Madrid’s initial plan was to let Yoro play one more year at Lille and sign him for free in 2025. They were even ready to offer Yoro a special signing bonus, similar to what they did with David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger, which would be added to his salary. 

But Nacho’s departure changed everything. Real Madrid now urgently need a fourth central defender, prompting them to enter negotiations with Lille, something they had previously avoided.

To secure Yoro’s signing this summer, Real Madrid are considering raising their offer to €40 million, including performance-based bonuses. 

Lille might accept this offer, knowing that Yoro could either join Real Madrid now or stay for another year and leave for free.

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