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Real Madrid-linked Chelsea star on the radars of Barcelona – report



Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

If Real Madrid’s recent UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie against Chelsea was any form of audition for Reece James, it is safe to say it was a mixed bag for the Englishman. After all, he is one of Los Blancos’ options to reinforce the right-back position in June.

Across two legs, the full-back was put to the ultimate test of silencing Vinicius Jr, a task very few in world football have completed successfully.

James struggled to contain the Brazilian phenom at the Santiago Bernabeu as Vini enjoyed a man-of-the-match performance. However, he was far better last night at Stamford Bridge.

In 90 minutes during the second leg, James completed a whopping four key passes against Real Madrid and recorded 96 touches. His passing accuracy was a staggering 97% and he created one big chance.

Further, the 23-year-old completed five of his seven attempted dribbles and won five duels on the night.

Now, according to reports from Gerard Romero (h/t Actualite Barca), Barcelona are showing some degree of interest in Reece James. The journalist claims that the Englishman would be one to keep an eye on as several officials within the club are excited by the right-back.

It could mean that they will compete directly with Real Madrid. Amidst the burning flames between the two teams, this comes as a big development.

James has a contract with Chelsea until the summer of 2028, implying that any transfer would involve a significant chunk of money. Considering Barcelona’s economic situation, it is thus advantage Real Madrid at this point.

Having used the last two transfer windows to sign players to no end, Chelsea will be under pressure to part ways with some stars come June. It is this very opportunity that Real Madrid find appealing and wish to capitalise on.

The fee reported is around the €50 million mark which is indeed a bargain for a player of his quality. The race for James will thus certainly get heated, and it could come down to a fight between the two Spanish giants.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid have not ‘given up’ on Karim Benzema’s renewal yet – report



Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

The cloud of uncertainty over Karim Benzema’s future has served as a major headache for the Real Madrid board, as they kickstart their team planning ahead of the new season.

Recent reports claim the Frenchman is strongly considering a move to Saudi Arabia, after receiving a lucrative €150 million offer from Al Ittihad. He was close to renewing his contract at Santiago Bernabeu not too long ago, but it appears the tables have turned lately.

Nevertheless, Real Madrid are yet to give up on Benzema and still harbour hopes of renewing his contract in the coming weeks, reports Alfredo Matilla.

The Spanish journalist suggests Real Madrid have not closed the file on Benzema. Coach Carlo Ancelotti has recently met the forward to clarify his future and it appears the club are set to do everything they can to keep hold of the player.

Benzema’s departure, after all, could put the club in a major dilemma, where they must either sign a top-class striker or settle for a low-cost alternative for the entirety of next season.

Harry Kane has been earmarked as the ideal replacement for Benzema. But his acquisition could potentially jeopardise Real Madrid’s bid to sign either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe in 2024. The club have also faced difficulties negotiating with Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman.

As far as the low-cost options are concerned, Real Madrid are interested in Roberto Firmino, who will become a free agent in the summer.

However, the Brazilian international is not the most productive striker around and his struggles in front of goal could put more pressure on players like Vinicius Junior next season.

Real Madrid, therefore, will hope to keep hold of Benzema’s services for another year. Unfortunately, though, the player has given a cold response so far and left training early, without speaking too much.

So it will be interesting to see whether or not the veteran striker opts to remain at Bernabeu for another year.

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