Real Madrid’s 0-4 defeat at the hands of Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg exposed their shortcomings.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men were far from convincing and it can be understood by the fact that they attempted a mere seven shots, out of which only three were on target.
Last year, in the same round, the story was entirely different. Back then, veteran forward Karim Benzema chipped in with three goals across both legs to assert his dominance.
But this year, the Frenchman looked far from his usual self. And this is the reason why Madrid are exploring the market to sign an out-and-out No. 9 who can seamlessly replace Benzema in the team.
In that context, Onda Cero (h/t Madrid Xtra) has claimed that Real Madrid are well aware of the problem at hand. They understand they need to sign a forward for the next season but the issue is, no player on the market attracts them.
One might argue about Erling Haaland, but it must be noted that while the Manchester City forward is indeed on Madrid’s agenda, his acquisition is planned for the summer of 2024 when a certain clause gets activated in his contract.
Until then, Real Madrid will have to find a way mostly because Benzema is not getting any younger and he has also struggled with fitness this season. In his absence, Rodrygo has led the charge as false 9, but the manager just cannot afford to spend the entirety of the season like this.
Furthermore, Kylian Mbappe is another option the team might consider, but it must be noted that if Paris Saint-Germain lose both Lionel Messi and Neymar in the summer, there is absolutely no chance that they will allow the French forward to leave.
All this leaves Real Madrid in a rather difficult state as they simply cannot continue to rely solely on Benzema for another season.
PSG defender could follow Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid in the summer of 2025
As PSG brace for the departure of Kylian Mbappe, it is set to mark a before and after in the history of the French club.
All signs point towards the 25-year-old superstar signing for Real Madrid on a free transfer, with an agreement between the two parties getting closer.
And, it may so happen that another PSG star might follow Mbappe to the Santiago Bernabeu, albeit a year later in 2025.
Hakimi could return to Real Madrid
Indeed, according to Mundo Deportivo, Achraf Hakimi could opt to leave PSG in the summer of 2025 and Real Madrid would be a likely destination for the Moroccan right-back.
Hakimi, a former Real Madrid academy graduate, has enjoyed success in Paris since joining them from Inter Milan.
However, the Moroccan international will enter the final year of his contract in 2025, with the deal expiring in 2026. And, both the player and the club could opt to part ways then if a new contract is not agreed upon.
And a return to Real Madrid could be on the cards for Hakimi. He is a player very well considered by Carlo Ancelotti.
The ex-Inter Milan man would also come to reinforce the right-back position, which currently has Dani Carvajal and Lucas Lucas Vazquez, whose contract expires at the end of the season, but could be offered a one-year extension.
Furthermore, Hakimi would be keen to return to the Spanish capital and would even be willing to reduce his current salary, which is over €10 million net. The lure of playing with Mbappe, one of his closest friends, will also be a major appealing factor.
As for Real Madrid, they need to soon find a long-term heir to Carvajal and a player like Hakimi, entering his prime years and familiar with the club could prove to be a shrewd signing.