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Real Madrid identify four possible backup targets if Bellingham does not arrive – report

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Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

It is no secret at this point that Real Madrid have made Jude Bellingham their top priority for the summer of 2023. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder is one of the most sought-after commodities in the transfer market and is set to mark a big bidding war next year.

Indeed, apart from Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City are all keen on signing the 19-year-old Englishman. Given the competition for his services and his rising stock, the midfielder could command a huge transfer fee, especially if he has a strong World Cup.

Figures of around €150 million are already being mentioned, although Real Madrid are said to be unwilling to pay over the top for Bellingham.

It could force them to look at other potential options to reinforce their midfield department in the summer. And according to SPORT, Real Madrid have Bellingham as their main target for 2023 but have four more names behind him as possible options.

The four players on the Merengues’ radars as potential backups for Bellingham are Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of Lazio, Enzo Fernandez of SL Benfica and Lovro Majer of Rennes.

Tielemans is a popular target among several clubs in the market as his contract with Leicester expires next year and he has shown no indication of signing a renewal. However, the Foxes want to offer him a two-year deal and if he does not sign it, they may consider a salein January itself.

As for Milinkovic-Savic, the Serbian midfield powerhouse has been eternally linked with Real Madrid in the past three to four years. However, Lazio’s asking price for the 27-year-old meant that a move never materialised. But he remains on Los Blancos’ agenda as a possible option if Bellingham does not join.

Enzo Fernandez was on Real Madrid’s radar before he joined SL Benfica this past summer. The Argentine has made a good start to life in Europe and, at 21, has shown that he can be a top player, although he would command a huge transfer fee, given that he still has five years left on his contract.

Lastly, Lovro Majer is also seen as an option by Real Madrid. Dubbed the ‘next Luka Modric’, the Croatian international has been doing well for Rennes since joining them last year. Linked with Atletico Madrid as well, the 24-year-old recently signed a new contract, committing himself to the club until 2027.

It remains to be seen how Real Madrid go about their transfer business next summer. But as iterated earlier, Bellingham remains the main objective for the Spanish capital club.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid midfielder receives huge praise from ex-Barcelona star: “Has no limits”

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Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Speaking in a recent interview with Fichajes.com (h/t GOAL), former Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has heaped praise on Real Madrid star Aurelien Tchouameni, while also revealing that he recommended the Catalans to sign him in the past.

Tchouameni arrived at Real Madrid this past summer in a deal worth €80 million plus €20 million in add-ons. Following Casemiro’s departure, he was thrust into the limelight right away by Carlo Ancelotti and the 22-year-old has not put a foot wrong since arriving.

Indeed, Tchouameni has become a key player for Ancelotti’s side and is currently starring at the FIFA World Cup 2022 with France.

Now, Fabregas, who had played with Tchouameni at AS Monaco in the past, has hailed the youngster, stating that there are no limits to what he can achieve.

During the chat, he also revealed that he had recommended Tchouameni’s signing to Barcelona but finances prohibited any move from happening.

“Yes, it’s true that I spoke to Barça about Aurelién. They wanted to start preparing the succession of Sergio Busquets and for me he was the perfect player. It was at a time when Barça were short of money and I don’t think they could offer more than €40 million,” he said.

“Then he signed for Real Madrid, he’s a permanent fixture there and he’s essential in the French national team. For me, Aurélien has no limits.”

Opening up on the first time he saw Tchouameni in action, Fabregas added: “I quickly realised he was not a player like the others. The first time I saw him was during a Ligue 1 match against Bordeaux with Monaco.

“I was on the bench and I was impressed with his performance. They beat us and I remember asking one of our assistants: “but who is this Bordeaux midfielder?”, he reminisced.

Fabregas also revealed that he was close with Tchouameni and the youngster sought advice from the former Arsenal captain, saying:

“I spoke a lot with Aurélien, we exchanged a lot of opinions, even when he came to the France national team. He asked me for a lot of advice about my career at clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, and FC Barcelona,” he said.

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