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Real Madrid seriously interested in signing 16-goal former striker as Benzema backup



Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

In a major development, journalists Alfredo Matilla and Rodra P are reporting that Real Madrid have set their sights on a summer move for RCD Espanyol striker Joselu to provide cover and competition for captain Karim Benzema.

Following the shock 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Manchester City earlier this week in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, Real Madrid are planning a few changes heading into the next season.

And one thing that everyone at the club seems to be aware now is that they need to sign a new centre-forward in the summer transfer window.

Benzema has had a disappointing campaign compared to the standards he set last season. His display against Man City earlier this week was very concerning, to say the least.

Meanwhile, Mariano Diaz, who was never favoured by manager Carlo Ancelotti, is set to leave when his contract expires. Rodrygo has had mixed success while playing through the middle but he is not a natural No. 9.

There are talks of promoting Alvaro Rodriguez to the first team next season, but it makes sense for the Merengues to bring in another established striker to support Benzema.

And it seems that they have turned their attention to Joselu of Espanyol.

A former Real Madrid forward, the 33-year-old spent three years on the club’s books between 2009 and 2012. He played 73 times for Castilla and scored 40 goals, but managed just two senior appearances, in which he netted twice as well.

Since then, the Spaniard has stints at TSG Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hannover, Stoke City, Deportivo La Coruna, Newcastle United, and Alaves, before he joined Espanyol last year.

In his debut season for the Catalan outfit, Joselu has netted 16 goals across all competitions, 15 of which have come in La Liga, even though Espanyol are facing relegation.

Ancelotti has made it clear to the club that he wants a new No. 9 this summer and Joselu is now emerging as a serious option because of the qualities he brings to the table.

Strong in the air, possessing fine finishing skills and able to play with his back to the goal, the veteran forward is said to fit the profile that Real Madrid are looking for. On top of it, his past at the club as well as his close relationship with Dani Carvajal could help adapting easier as well.

Even though he still has two years left on his contract, Joselu would be available for a relatively low price, especially if Espanyol are relegated. Hence, Real Madrid are seriously considering a move for their former striker. Only time will tell whether it comes to fruition.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid eye €3.5 million-rated relegated Premier League striker to reinforce attack



Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Following a difficult season with troubles in La Liga and the Champions League preventing Real Madrid from retaining their crowns, Los Blancos move towards a transformative summer, full of innovations.

Real Madrid managed to clear plenty of unwanted figures at the club, with a huge relief on the wage bill. However, with an array of exits, the squad has contracted and thus replacements are being inquired.

Apart from the high-profile departure of Karim Benzema, fringe players have also bid their farewell.

Among those names is Mariano Diaz, who was Madrid’s backup striker prior to his withdrawal. Several names have been put on the table to fill his absence as the club largely aim to address their lack of depth.

According to Arancha Rodriguez (via RM4Arab), Leeds United striker Rodrigo Moreno is one of the names gaining consensus in the Madrid hierarchy. Moreover, Joselu has also been considered as a viable alternative.

The two favourites to replace Mariano have proven to be important figures for their clubs as both strikers maintain a starting role.

Playing for Espanyol, Joselu ended the La Liga campaign as the third top scorer, only behind Benzema and Lewandowski. Considering Espanyol’s relegation, such a feat looks even more impressive. The Spaniard secured 19 goals in all competitions.

On the other hand, Rodrigo Moreno recorded 16 goals last season across all competitions. Similar to Joselu’s case, the Spanish international also suffered relegation with Leeds, in spite of his good numbers.

With both players offering adequate output in struggling sides, Real Madrid’s interest is practical. Moreover, considering both Espanyol and Leeds were relegated, their asking price will undeniably lower, which enables the Merengues to sign one of the two targets at a more convenient rate.

It is claimed that Rodrigo has a release clause worth €3.5 million which Los Blancos would have to trigger to sign him from Leeds United.

It now remains to be seen whether Carlo Ancelotti & co. go after the former Valencia man or move for Joselu instead.

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