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

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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

Revealed: The blueprint behind Real Madrid’s €1 Billion revenue ambition

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

As one of football’s biggest and most successful institutions, Real Madrid enjoy serious perks on the economic front. After all, they cater to a worldwide audience and thus see their remunerations come in from across borders.

The arrival of Kylian Mbappe will only serve to further grow Los Blancos’ fanbase, and with a generational squad set to dominate world football for the years to come, Florentino Perez sees a special marketing opportunity.

According to reports from SPORT, Real Madrid have thus set themselves a target to hit €1 billion in revenue and have drawn up a concrete plan for the same.

The player aspect

As a football institution, one of the most significant aspects of remuneration is the team’s direct winnings in terms of prize money. Having won the Champions League last season and with Mbappe coming in, the team is in safe hands.

Moreover, the average age of Real Madrid’s squad is just 27.1 years implies that the team has significant longevity with little change expected in personnel.

The second important aspect that the club hopes to count on is the crowd-pulling factor that such young players exert on the new generation.

Kylian Mbappe will be the face of Real Madrid’s marketing campaign. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Real Madrid already boast 410.9 million followers on social media and have added 48.4 million just last year. Mbappe, who himself has 132 million followers across Instagram and X, will further amplify that number next season and add to the club’s followers.

It is thus clear that the Frenchman will become the face of the club and the centre for all marketing operations of Real Madrid plan.

The road to €1 billion is thus not complicated, although Perez must be wary that Mbappe is picky with the brands he endorses. Further, the distribution of image rights will be a major factor to finalise.

The new Bernabeu

Having undergone extensive renovation, the New Santiago Bernabeu will take over as the world’s highest-grossing football stadium next season and play a massive role in boosting Real Madrid’s collections. The partnership with Sixth Street and Legends will also be crucial.

Furthermore, the new venue will also serve as a massive economy generator through miscellaneous events. Apart from Taylor Swift, the club also has agreements with Karol G, Aitana, Lola Indigo and La Velada del Ano de Ibai Llanos for exclusive events.

Real Madrid plan to add extra revenue from exclusive events at Santiago Bernabeu. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Needless to say, such events will serve significantly to boost the income and near the elusive €1 billion mark.

Cost-cutting

The final, yet critical manoeuvre Perez plans is to cut the costs on the wage front with a salary reduction of €0% already being made in both 2019-20 and 2020-21. That was, in fact, one of the major reasons Real Madrid stayed on their feet in the pandemic.

Player sales is another element where the men in white have worked their plan, getting rid of the older players while their market value was still high and reinvesting the cash into younger talents who can serve for at least the next decade.

The club recorded north of €800 million in income last year and the €1 billion mark is not too far off. Needless to say, the coming year could thus be special for the men in white.

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