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Real Madrid, Chelsea leading race to sign World Cup’s ‘best defender’

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Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images,

According to journalist Gianluca Di Marzio on Soccernews.nl, Real Madrid and Chelsea are the ‘most interested’ teams in securing the signing of Croatia and RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.

The left-footed, towering centre-back has been one of the best defenders at the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 and played a key role in Croatia’s semi-final run in the tournament.

His rise to prominence in Qatar and his performances for RB Leipzig before that have put him on the radars of several top clubs, including Real Madrid and Chelsea.

While Los Blancos have an abundance of options in the centre-back department, Nacho Fernandez is out of contract at the end of the season and is yet to renew, due to his lack of game-time.

Jesus Vallejo does not feature prominently in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans and could be moved on as well. In such a scenario, there could be room open for a new central defender to arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu, making Gvardiol an interesting target for Real Madrid.

However, the Merengues will need to stave off the interest from Chelsea if they wish to land the Croatian centre-half. The Blues had shown interest in Gvardiol back in the summer as well and are again sniffing around for a possible opening to swoop him away from RB Leipzig.

As per the update from Di Marzio, both Chelsea and Real Madrid have already put in bids for Gvardiol, but his value has further skyrocketed in lieu of him being the ‘best defender’ at the World Cup.

The report claims that Chelsea could test the waters with a fresh offer in January, whereas Real Madrid would prefer to wait until the summer to make their move.

Los Blancos have already beaten Chelsea to the signing of Brazilian wonderkid Endrick recently. And they are likely to be keen on coming out on top in the battle for Gvardiol’s signing as well.

But with the 20-year-old’s value soaring high following a stunning World Cup run, it remains to be seen if Real Madrid are willing to splash the big bucks on him, especially when they might have to spend heavily on a new midfielder next summer.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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