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Operation Harland still on at Real Madrid despite Mbappe inevitable arrival – report

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

With just a few months remaining until the season comes to a close, it appears Kylian Mbappe has finally made a decision to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Everything suggests the Frenchman will join Real Madrid at the end of the season on a free transfer, thereby substantially adding more firepower to the Madrid frontline.

Real Madrid, in fact, may start the new season with Mbappe, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo leading the frontline.

Real Madrid do not rule out Haaland pursuit

Despite the imminent arrival of Mbappe, though, Real Madrid have no plans to abandon the pursuit of another star attacker in Erling Haaland.

This is according to Cadena SER, which suggests that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez still has plans to sign the Manchester City forward sometime in the future.

Haaland has been on Real Madrid’s radar for quite some time now. The club were particularly keen on acquiring the Norweigian’s services this coming summer if they had missed out on Mbappe.

Still on Real Madrid’s radar (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

But with Mbappe likely to join Real Madrid in the summer, the club are likely to postpone the plans to sign Haaland for now. But they are not certainly out of the chase.

Haaland’s situation at Man City

Valued at a whopping €180 million by Transfermarkt, Haaland’s contract at Etihad does not expire until 2027. However, he does have a release clause that would allow clubs such as Real Madrid to attain his services for a certain price-tag.

Real Madrid, for their part, are ideally waiting for Pep Guardiola to leave Man City. That is because Haaland has a certain agreement with Man City to play under the Catalan boss.

Once Guardiola leaves, chances are that Haaland would want to move on as well, thus allowing Real Madrid to potentially make a move.

Everything suggests Guardiola will remain at Etihad for at least one more year. The summer of 2025, therefore, could serve as an interesting market opportunity for Real Madrid to sign Haaland.

It is Florentino Perez’s dream to play Haaland and Mbappe in the same team. Just how soon he can realise that dream remains to be seen.

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Features

Real Madrid’s best lineup next season with Kroos retiring, Mbappe and Endrick joining

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Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

It is set up to be a transformative summer for Real Madrid. After the UEFA Champions League final has concluded and the grand showdown finally has a victor, the Merengues are expected to undergo a squad revamp.

Indeed, the Santiago Bernabeu is preparing to welcome several high-profile signings, while also bidding farewell to some beloved Madrid legends.

Considering the potential arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, as well as Toni Kroos’ recent retirement, here is how Real Madrid could shape up next season:

Goalkeeper

Having made a long-awaited return from injury, Thibaut Courtois is anticipated to guard Real Madrid’s goal next season once more.

The Belgian goalie has already started featuring in the starting XI and is expected to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, too.

As such, his place for next season is hardly in doubt. However, unlike previous seasons, he will face much fiercer competition from Andriy Lunin, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign.

Defence

Fortifications in the defensive line remain high on Real Madrid’s priority list in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, even with the given options the Royal Whites boast assurance and grit in their back-line.

The likely occupants on the flanks would be Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, who have both produced great exhibitions throughout the campaign.

Ferland Mendy has the full trust of Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Carvajal is known to punish defensive lines and on the defensive end, his anticipation of forwards has been equally appreciable.

Meanwhile, Mendy’s resurgence this season has earned him immense faith from the coaching staff, as his defensive aptitude continues to set him apart.

In the centre-back positions, Real Madrid are expected to rely on the dependable figures of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.

Real Madrid consider Rudiger to be indispensable owing to his front-footed style and the important role he has had to play amidst the injury crisis. Similarly, Militao is valued by the team as he proceeds to regain match fitness after recovering from a long-term injury.

Midfield

The void of Toni Kroos in midfield will compel coach Carlo Ancelotti and co. to
reconsider their midfield strategy.

Real Madrid will be unable to count on Kroos next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their succession stage had begun a while ago and they have ample options to trust in the center of the park.

With Aurelien Tchouameni protecting the base of midfield, Real Madrid will possess security and deep progression.

Ahead, occupying the interior midfield positions, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are well-suited to provide a combination of energy off the ball and threat in possession.

And to put the cherry on top, Jude Bellingham’s place as the number 10 behind the two strikers would certify his status as a pivotal playmaker and scorer in the team’s setup.

However, he is adept at making third-man runs and connecting the midfield with the offence and could play deeper to not only make up for Kroos’ absence but also facilitate more options up front.

Attack

Real Madrid’s offensive department is where the largest reform is expected to take place.

Kylian Mbappe’s goalscoring instincts need little introduction by now and he is thus anticipated to be fielded as the striker.

Vinicius Jr. is expected to take up the position as a secondary striker drifting from the left, something he has become quite accustomed to this season.

Endrick will have to battle for a starting spot. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Endrick could also play a part by either replacing Vinicius off the bench and playing off Mbappe.

It remains to be seen how many men forward Ancelotti will commit to but the presence of Mbappe and Vinicius seems set in stone, given their huge profiles and status in world football. How the manager uses Rodrygo Goes will be interesting to see as well.

All in all, considering Ancelotti’s proficiency in profiling players, Madrid fans can expect to see these stars play in favourable environments.

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