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Real Madrid midfield star ready to inherit Kroos’ #8 jersey next season – report

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Photo via Getty Images

Real Madrid have been hit by a massive blow today as Toni Kroos has announced his decision to retire after the 2024 European Championship.

While there were initially reports claiming that he had agreed to sign an extension at the Santiago Bernabeu, it seems as if the German has now changed his mind.

This will leave a massive gaping hole in Madrid’s midfield, who were not preparing to shell out money on a midfielder next season, but might have to, now, especially with Dani Ceballos also expected to leave the club on a free transfer.

It also raises the questions, what will be the midfield trident moving into next season, and who will inherit Kroos’ role in the centre of the park? While that is still unclear, it seems Federico Valverde is a candidate for the gig.

Weight of the eight

According to reports from Alberto Pereiro, Federico Valverde will take the #8 jersey next season after Toni Kroos leaves the club.

Valverde has donned the #15 ever since he got a chance with the Real Madrid senior team during the 2018/19 season, and has also spoken about making the jersey iconic at the club.

He also suggested recently that one of the reasons he wants to win the Champions League this season because it would be Madrid’s 15th triumph in the competition.

Valverde’s iconic #15. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

However, at the same time, this should not come as a surprise as the Uruguayan has also spoken about idolising Kroos on a number of occasions.

Who are the other options?

Madrid have two more contenders for the kit next season in case Valverde decides to retain his #15 jersey – Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga.

The former wears #18 right now, but used to wear the #8 while playing for AS Monaco during his last season with the Ligue 1 giants.

Camavinga, on the other hand, represented the #10 with State Rennais, but could be looking to take over the #8 from Kroos next season.

Meanwhile, Luka Modric could be an outside shout for the jersey, as well, especially if he is forced to give up the #10 for Kylian Mbappe.

Should he stay at the club for another season, the Croatian could don his partner-in-crime’s jersey number as a homage for possibly his last season in Madrid, or perhaps even as a footballer.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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