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Real Madrid eye 20-year-old breakout La Liga midfielder as Bellingham alternative



Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

It is no secret that Real Madrid are pursuing the signing of Borussia Dortmund superstar Jude Bellingham ahead of the summer transfer window.

The 19-year-old is a top priority for Los Blancos before next season as they slowly look to move on from the ageing pair of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

However, the England international’s signing is going to be a big challenge for the Spanish capital club. They are not only facing intense competition from Liverpool and Manchester City, but they will also have to meet Dortmund’s mammoth €150 million valuation.

It has been widely reported that Los Merengues do not plan on splashing such a huge sum to sign Bellingham, although they are not completely ruling out a move for him.

Amidst this, it seems like Real Madrid are drawing up alternatives for the former Birmingham City ace and according to SER Deportivos, Celta Vigo youngster Gabri Veiga has emerged as one of the options for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Just 20 years old, Veiga has emerged as one of the breakout stars of La Liga this season. In 22 appearances for the club, the young Spaniard has popped up with an impressive return of eight goals and three assists.

Veiga has a contract with Celta that runs until the summer of 2026, with the deal containing a release clause worth €40 million.

Real Madrid would not be paying the entire amount, but would consider negotiating a lower amount with the possible inclusion of a player in the deal, if the do decide to press ahead with their pursuit of Veiga.

However, they will likely face competition from neighbours Atletico Madrid, who are also said to be showing an interest in the 20-year-old Spanish prodigy.

Bellingham remains Plan A for the reigning champions of Spain and Europe. But his steep asking price could force them to look at other targets, with Veiga emerging as an option.

Alternatively, Los Blancos could also look to splash heavily on Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and bolster their frontline if they do not sign Bellingham.

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Real Madrid News

Opponent watch: Chelsea defender injured during international break, doubt for Real Madrid clash



Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

In less than 20 days, Real Madrid will square off against Chelsea in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu. And ahead of the game, the Premier League club might have been dealt an injury setback.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Chelsea right-back Reece James has sustained an injury while away on national team duty with England and could now be a doubt for the match against Real Madrid.

James is a key member of the Chelsea squad but has had multiple injury problems in the recent past. Indeed, the 23-year-old has played just 12 Premier League matches this term, having had to deal with two knee injuries and a hamstring problem.

James played just five minutes for England during their 2-1 win over Italy earlier this week but has seemingly picked up some discomfort in his thigh during that game.

As a result, he was released from the national team camp earlier today and the young right-back is already on his way back to London.

The official report from the England national team indicated that the Chelsea ace had sustained a minor hamstring injury and was returning to his club as a precaution. However, Mundo Deportivo is stating that his availability for the game against Real Madrid is unclear at this point.

Los Blancos drew Chelsea for the quarter-finals and will host the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on April 12 before playing the second leg at Stamford Bridge a week later.

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