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Real Madrid believe €130 million package should be enough to land priority target

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Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s pursuit of Jude Bellingham has dominated the headlines in the Spanish footballing media in recent years, with the reigning European champions identifying the Borussia Dortmund starlet as their priority transfer target.

It appears Bellingham has been considered the ideal long-term replacement for Luka Modric. The veteran midfielder is expected to continue at Santiago Bernabeu for at least another year, but given his age, the club need to find a proper successor sooner rather than later.

That is where Bellingham comes into the fray. Recent reports suggest the Borussia Dortmund youngster is prepared to join the Spanish outfit and is willing to snub clubs such as Liverpool in the process.

According to Jorge Picon, Real Madrid are aware of the financial implications of signing a player like Bellingham. The Englishman is rated highly by Dortmund, with many expecting him to cost in the range of €150 million.

Picon suggests Real Madrid are ready to make the financial adjustments in order to afford the former Birmingham City starlet.

They believe that a figure of €130 million, including bonuses and variables, should be enough to clinch the deal for the midfielder, whose current contract at Dortmund runs until 2025. And the Merengues are willing to fork out the said amount.

Bellingham, for his part, is said to be keen on a move to the Santiago Bernabeu as he sees it as the perfect club to make the jump to the next leve in his career.

Real Madrid are yet to reach an agreement with the Bundesliga outfit over any deal for Bellingham. But the two parties have an excellent relationship, and should the Whites push for a move, it will not come as a surprise to see the deal being confirmed in the near future.

However, it remains unlikely Dortmund will let go of their star player in the winter transfer window, especially amid uncertainties over the future of another young sensation in Youssoufa Moukoko.

As such, Bellingham may only be up for sale at the end of the season, which could be a timely move for Real Madrid as there are worries over the continuity of Toni Kroos and Dani Ceballos.

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Matches

Camavinga, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Barcelona

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to get a step closer to lifting the La Liga title when they face off against FC Barcelona later tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid are currently seated atop the league table, eight points clear of Barça in second place. And another win tonight would stretch the lead to 11 points, all but guaranteeing their coronation as Spanish champions.

It will not be easy with Barcelona motivated after their defeat against PSG in the UEFA Champions League while fatigue could also be a factor after Los Blancos toiled it out for 120 minutes against Man City earlier this week.

Heading into the game, Real Madrid have one fitness concern as Ferland Mendy did not train on Saturday due to some overload in his left leg, although he was included in the squad list by Carlo Ancelotti.

Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba are the only injury-enforced absentees for the league leaders and here’s how Real Madrid could line up tonight against Xavi Hernandez’s side.

Starters

Fresh off his penalty shootout heroics against Manchester City, Andriy Lunin will guard Real Madrid’s goal again and hope to help his team to another crucial victory.

Antonio Rudiger has been in brilliant form this season and is a guaranteed starter at the heart of the Merengues’ defence. The German international should pair up with club captain Nacho Fernandez to stop Robert Lewandowski & co.

Even though there has been some chatter about Lucas Vazquez starting at right-back, Dani Carvajal is expected to get the nod as usual.

Mendy’s possible absence, however, could pave the way for Eduardo Camavinga to start at left-back for Real Madrid, with Ancelotti likely to trust the French midfielder in a makeshift role over Fran Garcia.

Camavinga could fill in at left-back. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Aurelien Tchouameni is back after missing the Manchester City game through suspension and will slot in as the defensive midfielder against Barcelona.

Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos will take up the two interior midfield positions for Real Madrid while Jude Bellingham will operate as the lone attacking midfielder.

However, it will not be a surprise to see Real Madrid transition into a 4-4-2 with Valverde and Bellingham moving out wide on the right and left flanks, respectively.

Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr. are the undisputed starters up top in attack, with the former likely to operate from the left after his recent success while the latter will play slightly more centrally.

Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Camavinga, Tchouameni, Valverde, Kroos, Bellingham, Vinicius, Rodrygo.

Substitutes

Brahim Diaz and Luka Modric are players that Carlo Ancelotti counts on from the bench for every game and that will not change tonight against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Joselu is also an option that Ancelotti could turn to if he wished to change things up in the attacking unit.

Eder Militao could also get some minutes, depending on the game situation, as Ancelotti hopes to get the Brazilian into match-rhythm in time to face Bayern Munich.

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