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Real Madrid have been in talks with Liverpool target for a year – report

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Photo via Getty ImGes

Every summer, Real Madrid are linked with at least one big-money signing to beef up their squad and ensure that they stay competitive. In recent years, Eden Hazard, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga have come in as such reinforcements.

The offices in Madrid never rest and the administration are already contemplating the big transfer for the 2023 summer transfer window. As it stands, that name seems to be Jude Bellingham.

MARCA report that talks and discussions regarding the English midfielder began a year ago. Now, the discussions have intensified and the club is discussing the possible economics of the deal.

Los Blancos do not view the youngster as a direct replacement for either Toni Kroos or Luka Modric. Bellingham is seen as a player who can be the centre-piece of the team for the next decade as a member of the team’s next dynamic midfield core.

The club will look to pull off the operation using the same formula that they used for Tchouameni and Camavinga in recent years. It is expected that the transfer fee involved will be above the €100 million mark, but the nine-digit figure does not deter Los Blancos’ plans.

One of the biggest reasons for the sudden boost in the progress of talks is Real Madrid’s scouting genius Juni Calafat. The mastermind is personally handling the midfielder’s signing and is said to be a fan of his profile.

This season, Bellingham has started all eight of Borussia Dortmund’s games, providing one assist in the process.

His numbers in the Champions League are more impressive as he scored three goals and assisted one in just three games. Recently, he became the youngest captain to score a goal in UCL history at the age of just 19.

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Matches

Camavinga, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Barcelona

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to get a step closer to lifting the La Liga title when they face off against FC Barcelona later tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid are currently seated atop the league table, eight points clear of Barça in second place. And another win tonight would stretch the lead to 11 points, all but guaranteeing their coronation as Spanish champions.

It will not be easy with Barcelona motivated after their defeat against PSG in the UEFA Champions League while fatigue could also be a factor after Los Blancos toiled it out for 120 minutes against Man City earlier this week.

Heading into the game, Real Madrid have one fitness concern as Ferland Mendy did not train on Saturday due to some overload in his left leg, although he was included in the squad list by Carlo Ancelotti.

Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba are the only injury-enforced absentees for the league leaders and here’s how Real Madrid could line up tonight against Xavi Hernandez’s side.

Starters

Fresh off his penalty shootout heroics against Manchester City, Andriy Lunin will guard Real Madrid’s goal again and hope to help his team to another crucial victory.

Antonio Rudiger has been in brilliant form this season and is a guaranteed starter at the heart of the Merengues’ defence. The German international should pair up with club captain Nacho Fernandez to stop Robert Lewandowski & co.

Even though there has been some chatter about Lucas Vazquez starting at right-back, Dani Carvajal is expected to get the nod as usual.

Mendy’s possible absence, however, could pave the way for Eduardo Camavinga to start at left-back for Real Madrid, with Ancelotti likely to trust the French midfielder in a makeshift role over Fran Garcia.

Camavinga could fill in at left-back. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Aurelien Tchouameni is back after missing the Manchester City game through suspension and will slot in as the defensive midfielder against Barcelona.

Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos will take up the two interior midfield positions for Real Madrid while Jude Bellingham will operate as the lone attacking midfielder.

However, it will not be a surprise to see Real Madrid transition into a 4-4-2 with Valverde and Bellingham moving out wide on the right and left flanks, respectively.

Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr. are the undisputed starters up top in attack, with the former likely to operate from the left after his recent success while the latter will play slightly more centrally.

Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Camavinga, Tchouameni, Valverde, Kroos, Bellingham, Vinicius, Rodrygo.

Substitutes

Brahim Diaz and Luka Modric are players that Carlo Ancelotti counts on from the bench for every game and that will not change tonight against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Joselu is also an option that Ancelotti could turn to if he wished to change things up in the attacking unit.

Eder Militao could also get some minutes, depending on the game situation, as Ancelotti hopes to get the Brazilian into match-rhythm in time to face Bayern Munich.

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