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Napoli weigh up summer swoop for 22-year-old Real Madrid academy product



Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Napoli, under new manager Antonio Conte, are eager to reinforce their squad in the summer transfer window, with the centre-back department an area they are keen on strengthening.

As such, Real Madrid defender Rafa Marin, set to return from his loan spell, has emerged as a transfer target for the Serie A heavyweights, reports Mundo Deportivo.

Marin impressed on loan at Alaves

After signing a new contract with Real Madrid last year, Rafa Marin left the club to join Deportivo Alaves on loan.

The 22-year-old academy graduate made a solid impression on his loan spell with Alaves, making 35 appearances across all competitions.

Rafa Marin is a target for Napoli. (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

Given how he had performed for Real Madrid Castilla in the past and his displays with Alaves, it was expected that Marin will likely have a spot in the first-team squad at the Santiago Bernabeu for next season.

Future depends on multiple factors

Marin’s future at Real Madrid seems to hinge on several factors, one of which happens to be captain Nacho Fernandez’s continuity at the club.

The veteran defender appeared to be on his way to Al-Ittihad, but recent reports suggest that the move has been cast into doubt.

If Nacho ends up staying, Marin might have to leave on loan again considering that Real Madrid are also trying to rope in Leny Yoro from Lille.

In that case, Napoli could be an option for the 22-year-old Real Madrid academy product while there are some Spanish clubs interested in his services as well.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid trailing Premier League heavyweights in UEFA club rankings




Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images

UEFA has announced its latest club rankings, based on the performance of each team in European competitions over the last five seasons, and despite winning the Champions League last season, Real Madrid trail Manchester City in these standings. 

It must be noted that the coefficients of these rankings are calculated purely on the basis of results in European competitions, without considering domestic league performance. The rankings are crucial as they determine the seedings in UEFA competition draws.

Top teams in UEFA rankings

This time, Manchester City haves outshone Real Madrid, topping the list with a coefficient of 123,000 points, while Real Madrid have 119,000 points. Bayern Munich complete the top three with a score of 108,000 points. 

Man City have been incredibly consistent since 2021, securing a Champions League title, reaching a final, and making it to a semi-final, which has propelled them to the top spot in the rankings.

Manchester City are above Real Madrid in UEFA club rankings. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The competition between Manchester City and Real Madrid has been intense, especially in the Champions League. The two giants of European football have faced each other in four knockout ties since 2020, each winning two ties. 

Their consistent performances have solidified their status as the current powerhouses of European football.

What about the other La Liga teams?

Spanish football, particularly La Liga, is well-represented in these rankings. Alongside Real Madrid, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona are notable mentions. 

Villarreal, on their part, are in the 7th place after winning the Europa League in 2021 and reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2022. 

Atletico Madrid are positioned at 17th, just ahead of Barcelona, who is struggling to maintain its usual high ranking. 

Amidst all this, the English Premier League stands out as the dominant force in these rankings. Six of its teams are in the top 20, showcasing the strength and competitiveness of English football. 

The Italian League and the Bundesliga also have a strong presence, each contributing four teams to the top ranks.

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