Real Madrid News
Real Madrid ready to rival any bids for 20-year-old Chelsea defensive target
Josko Gvardiol has emerged as one of the best-performing defenders in the ongoing FIFA World Cup this year, raising many eyebrows with his consistent performances at the back for Croatia.
The RB Leipzig star was notably rock-solid at the back during Croatia’s Round of 16 clash against Japan. And it appears his performances have not gone unnoticed either, as several clubs have started to take note and are eyeing a move for the defender in the near future.
According to a report from Evening Standard, one of those clubs are Real Madrid. The reigning European champions have joined Chelsea in the race to sign the RB Leipzig defender and are ready to rival any bids that come for the player.
Real Madrid and Chelsea are joined by Barcelona in the race to sign Gvardiol, who has built a solid reputation for his versatility at the back.
Gvardiol is known for his muscular figure that makes him an intimidating presence at the back even for the strongest of forwards. He is also technically adept at not only rotating possession but also moving forward with the ball, if necessary.
Gvardiol has primarily operated as a centre-back in this ongoing World Cup, offering solidity at the back, along with balance.
For Real Madrid, the breakthrough of the 20-year-old serves as a blessing as the club have been on the lookout for a versatile defender for a while.
Even though Los Blancos already boasts the services of a plethora of defenders, Nacho Fernandez’s future at the club has come under question as he is stalling contract talks due to his reduced role in the team.
Gvardiol, to that end, can not only offer fresh blood but can also be an alternative for Ferland Mendy at left-back, thus making him an excellent long-term investment.
However, luring Gvardiol away from Leipzig might not be a cheap operation. With the defender still having a contract until 2027, he might cost a fortune, especially with clubs such as Chelsea and Barcelona also interested in his services.
Real Madrid News
Real Madrid identify two positions that need strengthening in the summer – report
According to reports from Mario Cortegana (h/t Madrid Zone), Real Madrid have two objectives for the upcoming summer transfer window. The centre-forward and the right-wing position are seen as the two positions to be reinforced but no decision has been made yet about making a move.
This comes over and above the Merengues’ pre-existing need for new midfielders and full-backs in the coming windows.
At first sight, it may appear that Los Blancos are well stacked in the final third. In Vinicius Jr, Karim Benzema and Rodrygo Goes, they have three starting quality players who are well-complemented by the likes of Marco Asensio and Federico Valverde.
Yet, Vinicius is the only player on the aforementioned list who can boast of a starting role in a fixed position for at least the next decade.
There is worry over the centre-forward role considering Benzema’s lack of form and fitness throughout the current campaign. With the Ballon d’Or winner already 35, the club need a young reinforcement soon which is evident with the team’s struggle for goals this term.
Los Blancos have already invested heavily in Endrick in this regard. However, that has not stopped them from following established options like Dusan Vlahovic and Erling Haaland as their Brazilian wonderkid will not arrive until 2024.
The right wing is also understaffed despite the presence of young Rodrygo and Fede Valverde. The duo have no dearth of talent but have not managed to click on the wing as well as the manager would have liked.
Thus, it remains to be seen as to who the club targets to strengthen the wing and aim to stretch the play. Given the heavy investment planned for Jude Bellingham, a low-cost option is likely to be considered.