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Real Madrid rival Liverpool, Bayern Munich for 20-year-old Premier League defender

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Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Real Madrid have taken an interest in Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap, who is also on the radars of Liverpool and Bayern Munich, as reported by Fichajes.

The 20-year-old Bella-Kotchap impressed in Germany with VfL Bochum before securing a transfer to Southampton this past summer. And since arriving in England, the centre-back has made a huge impression with his performances for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.

So much so that Bella-Kotchap was called up for the German national team by manager Hansi Flick for the upcoming UEFA Nations League fixtures.

Apart from catching the eye of the Germany manager, Bella-Kotchap has seemingly drawn the attention of three of the biggest clubs in Europe in the form of Real Madrid, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

All three clubs are said to be keeping tabs on the 20-year-old’s development as they see him as someone who can be a leader of the defence in the future.

Liverpool will soon need to put a succession plan in place for Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk, who are in their thirties, while at Bayern they could still do with defensive reinforcements despite the recent acquisition of Matthijs de Ligt.

As for Real Madrid, the report states that Los Blancos see Bella-Kotchap’s profile as ideal for him to become the long-term defensive partner of Eder Militao over the next decade.

With Nacho entering the final phase of his career and Jesus Vallejo out of favour, someone like Bella-Kotchap can be brought in and groomed to grow into the role of a starting centre-back at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bella-Kotchap’s contract with Southampton runs until 2026. For now, there is no mention of Real Madrid or any other club making an attempt to sign him. However, they will likely continue monitoring his progress closely with an eye on a future move for the defender.

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Real Madrid News

Barcelona find legal precedent to replay El Clasico after ‘ghost goal’ controversy

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona’s recent defeat to Real Madrid in El Clasico appears to have caused calamity inside the Catalan camp.

The defeat has effectively ruled Barça out of the title race while further diminishing the chances of Xavi staying at Camp Nou.

Amid all this, Barcelona president Joan Laporta appears to be having a hard swallowing the result and has gone on a rampage against the use of VAR, which notably annulled a goal from Lamine Yamal after it was cleared from behind the line by Andriy Lunin.

A day after the result, Laporta even warned that Barcelona might seek legal measures to try and replay El Clasico if they find any evidence of wrongdoings. And that statement could now soon turn into reality.

Barcelona consider legal measures

According to Cadena SER, Barcelona are considering legal action under the guidance of none other than Laporta to force a replay.

Their inspiration? An incident earlier this year in the Belgian League, where a VAR error led to the permission for a replay of an Anderlecht vs Genk match, although the decision was later annulled by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

Joan Laporta ready to take legal measures. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

CAS is the apex body for all things related to sports. And although the entity was involved in annulling the replay between Genk and Anderlecht, Barcelona are hopeful they would intervene in this matter.

The Catalans are aware that local bodies such as RFEF and CTA might not cooperate with Barcelona, knowing the image and prestige of Spanish football could be at stake.

As such, Barça are hopeful of intervention from CAS. They want the apex court to look into the matter and stage a replay of the Clasico.

Barca’s threats of legal action, including potentially involving the CAS, seem like a desperate attempt to try and remain in the title race – the only avenue for silverware left for the Catalans this season.

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