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Real Madrid see talented academy ace as the long-term successor to key superstar

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Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images

Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga’s sensational form this season has left Real Madrid in good territory. Both players demand a starting spot in the starting lineup, giving manager Carlo Ancelotti a good dilemma in the absence of Thibaut Courtois.

The Merengues, however, do not plan on making Kepa’s move permanent at the end of the season. Concurrently, they understand that Lunin will not agree to continue as a second-choice goalkeeper beyond this year.

The men in white are thus on an expedition to find a new heir for Courtois who will be 34 in 2026. A long-term fix, thus, is an active objective for 2026.

In house solution

As reported by AS earlier today, Real Madrid are not focused completely on a new signing to replace the Belgian star. Players from the academy are actively being scouted and evaluated, with a certain Fran Gonzalez currently best placed.

The 18-year-old has quickly climbed up the ranks of La Fabrica and is currently seen as the goalkeeper in the academy with the highest ceiling.

In fact, Ancelotti has called him up to travel with the first team ten times this season.

Gonzalez travelled with Real Madrid to the United States in the preseason, and while he did not have minutes, generated a strong impression.

A first-team debut this season is unlikely given the form of Real Madrid’s goalkeepers, but he is seen as a good option to take over in the long term.

He currently serves as the first-choice goalkeeper for Real Madrid C, although he is not a stranger to featuring for the Juvenil A side as well.

The likes of Lucas Cañizares, Mario de Luis and Diego Piñeiro are also in the battle to play for the first team, but Gonzalez has a clear preference.

Options on the market

As revealed earlier this week, one promising name Real Madrid are pursuing on the market is Randall Rodriguez.

The 20-year-old currently plays for Penarol in the Uruguayan Primera division and is on the radars of several top European clubs.

It thus remains to be seen if Los Blancos opt to go with an in-house solution or a new signing to take over from Courtois.

After all, any name vying to be the next primary goalkeeper has big shoes to fill.

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Real Madrid News

‘Will have to put my feelings aside’ – Bellingham on facing Borussia Dortmund in UCL final

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

It has been a special debut season for Jude Bellingham at Real Madrid.

Since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth €103 million, plus add-ons, last summer, the 20-year-old sensation has become an instant hit at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Despite his form declining a bit in the second half of the season, Bellingham has racked up returns of 23 goals and 12 assists from 41 games in all competitions.

A special game for Bellingham

Having won La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup, Bellingham now has the chance to end the season in the most epic ways possible by lifting the UEFA Champions League, against his former club, in his homeland.

As such, Saturday’s UCL final at Wembley, against Dortmund, is set to be a special one for the young phenom, and he acknowledged as much during an interview today.

“It’s a very special game for me but I’ll have to put feelings aside. It’s been a great season, they’ve made me feel very welcome and I’ve enjoyed playing football with them,” said Bellingham, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

Bellingham faces his former club in the UCL final. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

When asked if he had been in touch with any of his former Dortmund teammates ahead of Saturday’s showpiece event, Bellingham replied:

“I’ve spoken to Sancho, we said we’d meet there. He took me under his wing when I came to Dortmund and that meant a lot to me.”

On how Real Madrid can win the game

Earlier today, Carlo Ancelotti was asked if he had sought any information from Bellingham to prepare a strategy to beat Borussia Dortmund.

The midfielder himself was asked by the media as to how Real Madrid can get past his former club at Wembley this weekend, to which he replied:

“To win we will have to play at our maximum level, if we are at that level it is very difficult for our opponents. The staff are sure to do a great job analysing Dortmund, I trust them 100 per cent.”

Stressing how it is a dream for him to win the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, Bellingham remarked:

“Winning the Champions League is the reason I’m here, I always dreamed of playing for this team, and this team is linked to the Champions League. I want to be a small part of their history.”

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