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Real Madrid following 21-year-old centre-back with €110 million release clause – Romano



Photo by Frederic Scheidemann/Getty Images

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano (h/t Madrid Xtra), Real Madrid are closely following RB Leipzig and Croatia centre-back Josko Gvardiol ahead of the summer window.

The 21-year-old has long been regarded as one of the best young defenders in Europe. His stock rose further at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, as he put in starring displays to help Croatia achieve a third-place finish.

Gvardiol’s development and progression have not gone unnoticed, with several top clubs across Europe casting admiring glances towards the defender.

And, Real Madrid are understood to have Gvardiol on their transfer wishlist for the summer and are among the clubs following the 21-year-old.

As things stand, Los Blancos have Eder Militao, Antonio Rudiger, David Alaba and Nacho Fernandez as options for the centre-back role, while Jesus Vallejo is also available at Carlo Ancelotti’s disposal.

But, Nacho’s contract expires at the end of the season while Vallejo could also be offloaded, which would create room for a new arrival in the position.

Furthermore, Gvardiol’s ability to slot in on the left side of the defence could also appeal to the Spanish capital club, considering the lack of depth in the left-back position.

So, it does not come as a surprise to see Real Madrid following the 21-year-old, although Romano adds that it is too early to talk about negotiations with RB Leipzig for the defender.

It has previously been reported that Gvardiol has a mammoth €110 million release clause in his contract, and Romano goes on to state that the towering Croatian could be the ‘most expensive centre-back ever’.

Considering that Real Madrid are also planning a huge financial layout for Jude Bellingham in the summer, whether they can afford to splash the cash on Gvardiol as well remains to be seen.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool monitoring 19-year-old Bundesliga wonderkid – Romano



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all monitoring Bayer Leverkusen and Germany wonderkid Florian Wirtz.

After recovering from his ACL injury, the teenage sensation has been slowly working his way back to his best form. So far this term, Wirtz has managed to rack up a tally of two goals and six assists from 13 matches in all competitions.

The 19-year-old’s talent and potential have never been in question and hence it does not come as a surprise that elite clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all keeping tabs on the German international.

A versatile attacking midfielder, Wirtz is capable of playing anywhere in the final third of the pitch and backs up with top-notch end product. Be it as a false-nine or in a more withdrawn role, the youngster has excelled for Bayer Leverkusen, catching the attention of top teams.

Real Madrid, for their part, are also understood to be among Wirtz’s admirers. Given the situation surrounding Karim Benzema’s fitness and the lack of backup at the top, the youngster could be an option, as he has shown potential while operating through the middle.

But Barcelona also have a strong interest in the teenager with reports even suggesting that they have already made contact with his father to enquire about his situation.

At the same time, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is understood to be a huge admirer of his fellow German and with Roberto Firmino on his way out, Wirtz could be lined up as a possible replacement.

However, Romano adds that the expectation is that Wirtz could stay at Bayer Leverkusen for one more year and depart Germany once the UEFA Euro 2024 is out of the way.

For now, there have been talks or negotiations with any clubs, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are all tracking Wirtz and his progress in Germany.

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