Real Madrid are dealing with a crunch blow ahead of the summer transfer window, as Karim Benzema is reportedly expected to leave the club to join Al-Ittihad for an offer worth over €200 million across two years.
The Frenchman was a key cog for Madrid across the last two seasons, winning five trophies, and also bagging the Ballon d’Or. He would leave behind a near-impossible legacy to replace, but los blancos have not really had problems replacing key players in the past.
One of the names that has come up as a potential replacement is Tottenham Hotspurs’ Harry Kane. One of the most prolific strikers of this generation, the Englishman is coming off a spectacular 30-goal Premier League season, and could be on his way out this summer.
Signing him will not be easy, though, as Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is looking to get around €100-120 million for him from a non-Premier League side. Madrid could use a bargaining chip, though, in the form of Ferland Mendy.
According to SER Deportivos, Madrid’s main goal is Kane, and the club is considering including Mendy in the deal as part of a player-plus-cash trade.
Madrid are the only party interested in Kane, though, especially since the Englishman is touted to leave Tottenham this summer. Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are also chasing his signature.
Kane finishes his contract next summer, which puts Tottenham at a risk of losing him on a free transfer. That has not, however, stopped them from slapping a huge price tag on him, as he would be very difficult to replace.
While Madrid would not have any problem coughing up a €100 million sum for Kane, it would impact their plan with Erling Haaland.
The record-Champions League winners were hoping to sign one of Haaland or Kylian Mbappe next summer to take over the reins from Benzema, but the Frenchman’s potential departure has evidently changed things.
Roberto Firmino is also an option for Madrid as the club does not want to ‘spend a lot’ to replace Benzema as per one report, and the Brazilian would arrive on a free transfer.
Real Madrid are also advancing their pursuit to sign Joselu from Espanyol, who were officially relegated last weekend. The Spaniard would act as a backup, essentially taking over the role Mariano Diaz was expected to fill.
Real Madrid rising star suffered against Atletico due to veteran forward’s absence, says Simeone
Real Madrid’s 3-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid was not the first time were in trouble this season. In fact, the Merengues have gone behind early in almost every league game so far.
However, the difference on Sunday night was that they never really mounted a comeback. More importantly, Jude Bellingham did not come good, for the first time.
Simeone unravels the mystery
A jubilant Diego Simeone spoke to the media after his side downed Real Madrid by three goals to one and spoke about a plethora of topics.
Interestingly, he commented specifically on why Bellingham did not have an impact at Civitas Metropolitano, citing the absence of Joselu as a key factor.
“No, the spaces were reduced and I think that Joselu’s lack of presence left him with fewer chances to get there, when he takes advantage of Joselu’s aerial play. We controlled him better, he’s extraordinary,” he said, as quoted by AS.
He even called out the refereeing on the night and insisted that the Real Madrid star-boy should have seen red for his late tackle on Angel Correa, saying:
“It looked like a sending-off to me live, it was a hard leg up, with Angelito hitting the ball.”
Ironically, he defended his defender Jose Maria Gimenez for an equally threatening tackle on the night.
“A bad foul, it’s a yellow card because it goes sideways. Bellingham goes from the front and I think it’s a bit more,” he stated paradoxically.
No time to lament
The game at Civitas Metropolitano may not have gone Real Madrid’s way. Yet, it is good for the Merengues to taste defeat early and see the gaping holes in their dynamic.
Carlo Ancelotti admitted in his press conference that he bore the lion’s share of the fault for Sunday’s loss and that he would have done things differently if given the chance.
“Maybe I could have done it better. It’s pretty clear. When the team doesn’t do what it has to do, it’s my responsibility,” he stated.
Nevertheless, Los Blancos have a hectic schedule ahead with two games in the next five days and a UCL fixture against Napoli next week. With Vinicius Jr back, one hopes they find their mojo once again.