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Real Madrid identify Italian international as the ‘ideal alternative’ for Bellingham



Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Real Madrid are forecasting a major overhaul in the summer of 2023, especially in the midfield department where players such as Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos and Luka Modric are all facing an uncertain future at the club.

With that in mind, Real Madrid have been targeting reinforcements in the midfield unit. One of the club’s priority targets is Jude Bellingham.

The Borussia Dortmund starlet is regarded as one of the most talented young players in the world, and it appears Madrid have identified as an ideal long-term replacement for the ageing Modric.

Another target for Real Madrid is Enzo Fernandez. The Argentine international was one of the rising stars in the World Cup and played a crucial role in helping the Albiceleste secure the coveted trophy.

However, with both young midfielders set to cost a fortune, Real Madrid have started the process of finding alternatives in the market. According to Diario AS, the club have already earmarked Manuel Locatelli as one of the options.

Locatelli, who was one of Italy’s best performers during their Euro 2020 triumph, currently plies his trade with Juventus. Real Madrid see him as a ‘plan C’ as far as their attempt to reinforce the midfield unit is concerned.

Although the Italian international has struggled to impress since joining Juventus in 2021, he does have the skillset and can offer similar qualities such as Bellingham or Fernandez. At the age of just 24, the midfielder can be considered a future prospect as well.

What makes Locatelli even more appealing target for Real Madrid is that the Italian will not cost a fortune, at least when compared to Bellingham and Fernandez. Juventus, for one, had signed the player for a fee of around €37.5 million.

Real Madrid will likely to have to fork out a similar figure in order to get hold of the former AC Milan starlet. However, it remains to be seen whether or not Real Madrid are willing to bet on a player, who has largely struggled to make his presence felt at Juventus.

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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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