The relationship between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid has seldom been sorer than it is now. Los Blancos broke the non-aggression pact by signing their neighbours’ academy talents earlier in the window, and now seem set to take it a step further.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have been on the lookout for a new number nine who could potentially replace Karim Benzema in the near future. Needless to say, that mission has been far from easy.
According to reports from Jose Felix Diaz, Real Madrid now have their eyes on Atletico Madrid target Iker Bravo.
Los Rojiblancos had an agreement in place with the Spaniard, but the situation has changed after the entry of Real Madrid into the race. Needless to say, this will make the relationship between the two clubs to a new low.
The Champions of Europe see the Bayer Leverkusen striker as a bet for the future and do not intend for him to join the first team immediately. In their eyes, he is a player who can develop at the Castilla before an eventual promotion.
Yet, the economics of the deal seem to be the biggest hurdle. The German outfit are asking for a fee far higher than what Real Madrid can offer and the negotiations will be long and complicated.
At the moment, Bravo’s signing is not seen as a priority and Real Madrid are in no rush to hasten the negotiations. Moreover, Ancelotti has other options on his table including the young Jonathan Burkardt.
Last season, Bravo made only one league appearance for the Leverkusen first team but was a constant presence in the youth teams. Needless to say, the player will need a lot of polishing before he can start for a club of Los Blancos’ stature.
UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”
Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.
Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.
A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.
Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista
Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”
The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.
“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.
Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.
Topuria’s message for Mbappe
Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.
When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”
Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.
Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.