With Jude Bellingham reportedly inching closer and closer to Liverpool, Real Madrid might have to turn their focus towards other targets to bolster their midfield unit next summmer.
And, according to Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla, Real Madrid are tracking Udinese midfielder Sandi Lovric as a possible target for the summer of 2023.
Lovric spent the early parts of his career in Austria before joining Swiss outfit FC Lugano in 2019. After three years at the club, the 24-year-old moved to Udinese this past summer, joining as a free agent.
Since arriving in Italy, Lovric has performed well for Udinese, scoring two goals and setting up one more in 14 Serie A appearances.
A midfielder by trade, Lovric is capable of operating in multiple roles in the centre of the park. Capped 25 times by the Slovenian national team, he also has three goals to his name on the international stage.
And, his performances have seemingly caught the attention of Real Madrid, who are reportedly following the midfielder ahead of the summer window of 2023.
Lovric is contracted with Udinese until the summer of 2027. And the Italian outfit could demand a sizeable sum for his services should Real Madrid do decide to act on their reported interest in the 24-year-old.
With Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in the final phase of their careers, the Merengues need to infuse some fresh blood into their midfield unit.
Bellingham has been at the top of the wishlist for Real Madrid, but his €150 million valuation has seemingly become a roadblock for the reigning champions of Spain and Europe.
Other midfielders like Enzo Fernandez of SL Benfica and Leicester City star Youri Tielemans have been mentioned as possible targets, with Lovric also now being added to the list.
Real Madrid’s 29-year-old star upset with his situation, desires more clarity on role
At Real Madrid, the quest for securing a spot in the first-team lineup involves battling it out with some of the best players in European football.
Competition is generally considered the perfect antidote to complacency and the Merengues‘ immensely talented roster encapsulates that sentiment best.
While injuries have done a number on the team, there is still an abundance of competition in the squad. As of now, the fight for a spot in the starting lineup is most intense among the goalkeepers.
Indeed, since the beginning of the campaign, there has been no fixed goalkeeper with both Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga featuring between the sticks alternately.
However, after being acquired on a season-long loan to fill in the absence of Thibaut Courtois, Kepa is not entirely content with his situation.
Kepa unsatisfied with the unclarity
Indeed, as per The Athletic, Kepa is extremely disappointed with his situation and how the coaching staff at Real Madrid have been handling the matter.
Ancelotti has not clearly explained his reasoning as to which of Lunin and Kepa is currently his first-choice keeper.
And according to sources close to him, Kepa is unhappy and would have preferred further clarification on the matter from the manager.
Lunin in the driving seat
Owing to Lunin’s exceptional form lately, he has successfully displaced Kepa as the first-choice goalkeeper.
In fact, Kepa has not started a game since Real Madrid’s clash against Almeria last month in which they leaked two goals.
It is safe to assume Kepa’s frustrations stem from the fact that he initially arrived as the primary keeper to replace Courtois and turned down an offer from Bayern Munich to join the Madrid outfit.
As such, being shunned and having minimal clarity from the coaching staff’s preferred goalkeeper has led to dissatisfaction.
As things stand, Real Madrid have no plans of signing him permanently, given that Chelsea would ask around €20 million for him, something that the club have intentions of paying.