Over the last two seasons, Real Madrid’s attack was heavily reliant on the services of Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema, both of whom formed an incredible partnership in the frontline and led them to another Champions League in 2022.
However, Benzema’s departure in the summer severely hampered the attack, leaving them without an out-and-out striker. This was followed by Marco Asensio’s decision not to renew, either, as he joined Paris Saint-Germain on a Bosman move.
Madrid decided not to shell out big money for a forward after signing Jude Bellingham for more than €100 million, and eventually brought in Joselu and Brahim Diaz to cover the roles.
Neither of them were expected to, or haven proven to cover the cracks properly, though, which likely means los blancos will scan the market for forwards in the winter and summer windows of 2024.
While the option to sign Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland is still open, Mario Cortegana has reported that Madrid are closely following former forward Takefuso Kubo, who has been performing brilliantly with Real Sociedad this season.
No contacts made
The report also states that while Madrid are keeping tabs on the Japanese youngster, they have not made any contacts with him, which could come to haunt them in the future if they look to sign him again.
Madrid sold Kubo for €6.5 million in the summer of 2022, but included 50% sell-on rights in his contract, which means they will receive half of any future transfer fee Sociedad receive from his sale.
Further, they also have the right of first refusal in the deal. Should a club bid for Kubo in the future, Madrid have the option of matching that bid and will get priority on his sale.
However, since they have not maintained any contacts with him, an agreement on personal terms may be difficult.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo