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Real Madrid academy defender on the radars of Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen

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Real Madrid academy product Rafa Marin has had a solid season away on loan at Deportivo Alaves this season. So much so that, he has convinced Los Blancos to count on him for the next season.

However, with Real Madrid also looking to sign a new centre-back in the summer, the amount of game-time the 21-year-old would receive is unlikely to be much.

As such, the possibility of another loan departure is not entirely off the table and there are fresh suitors for the young Spanish ace.

Bayer Leverkusen interested in Marin

Indeed, as per BILD in Germany, new Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen are interested in signing Marin from Real Madrid in the summer.

The newly-crowned German champions are looking for defensive reinforcements heading into the new season as there may be some exits from their backline over the summer.

Marin, who has performed at a high level this season at Alaves, has emerged as a target for Die Werkself.

Rafa Marin (R) on Bayer Leverkusen’s radar. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

A move, though, might not be straightforward. As mentioned earlier, Real Madrid plan to have Marin in their squad for next season.

Even if there is no place for him in Carlo Ancelotti’s scheme for the next term, Los Blancos would only agree to let him leave on another loan deal or with a buyback option.

A temporary move to Bayer Leverkusen would be good for Marin from Real Madrid’s point of view as he would play Champions League football under Xabi Alonso, who is seen as the likely replacement for Ancelotti at the Bernabeu.

However, Leverkusen would prefer a permanent signing to bolster their defence, something that might not be possible with Marin.

So, it remains to be seen how things evolve and whether the 21-year-old stays in Madrid or joins Alonso in Germany.

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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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