Real Madrid have a rich history of splashing the big bucks on players who star at World Cups. The likes of Ronaldo, Fabio Cannavaro, Mesut Ozil, James Rodriguez and Thibaut Courtois are some of the names that Los Blancos signed in the transfer windows immediately after a World Cup.
So, with the quadrennial football event underway in Qatar currently, Real Madrid are once again keeping their eyes glued to the tournament to identify and sign the next breakout World Cup star.
And according to a report from SPORT, Real Madrid have their sights set on Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka and Manchester United right-back Diogo Dalot at the World Cup and are closely watching their performances.
Both players have been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu in the past, although it has not materialised into something significant. But, as per the report, Los Blancos are monitoring both Saka and Dalot at the World Cup.
Saka has already made a splash at the World Cup, bagging two goals in England’s thumping 6-1 win over Iran on Monday. The 21-year-old’s contract with Arsenal expires in 2024 and the Gunners are believed to be ready to hand him a new deal.
Carlo Ancelotti has alternated between Rodrygo and Federico Valverde as his options on the right flank. But with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in the final phase of their careers, Valverde will have to move to his natural midfield role moving forward, paving the way for a winger like Saka to arrive.
As for Dalot, he is in the final year of his contract at Manchester United, although the Red Devils have the option to extend it by twelve months, which they are expected to trigger. But, nonetheless, Real Madrid have the Portuguese right-back on their radar as a possible long-term heir to Dani Carvajal.
Apart from the duo, Real Madrid are also tracking priority target Jude Bellingham, who starred in England’s win over Iran alongside Saka.
Real Madrid midfielder set to sign a four-year contract with the club
In a major development, journalist Tomas Gonzalez-Martin is reporting that Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has decided to sign a new contract with the club and will pen a four-year deal to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The 26-year-old midfielder’s current contract with Real Madrid stands to expire at the end of the season. And there had been conflicting reports over whether he would be offered a new deal by the Merengues.
But the Spaniard has managed to turn things around spectacularly in recent weeks, putting up top displays one after the other, helping Real Madrid emerge out of a poor run at the start of the new year.
It has convinced the club to hand him a new contract and it seems like things are moving swiftly on the renewal front for Ceballos.
Indeed, as per the update from Tomas Gonzalez-Martin, Real Madrid have decided to offer him a new four-year contract that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2027. It will see the midfielder receive an improved salary to the one that he is currently earning.
And Ceballos has decided to sign the deal. The former Real Betis ace has always maintained that he wants to continue at the Bernabeu beyond the current campaign. And the two parties could now be close to shaking hands on a new contract.
Ceballos joined Real Madrid from Real Betis back in 2017, arriving as one of the most talented young midfielders in La Liga. However, he found the going tough initially, thanks to the hegemony of the midfield trio of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro.
The Spaniard spent a couple of seasons on loan at Arsenal before returning to the club in 2021. If not for an injury while away at the Tokyo Olympics, Ceballos could have been sold that year.
Having returned to action in January last year, he has slowly but surely gained importance in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans. And he is now set to be rewarded with a new four-year contract by the champions of Spain and Europe.