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Real Madrid set sights on 21-year-old Argentine international as Bellingham alternative



Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

According to MARCA, Real Madrid have identified SL Benfica and Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez as a possible alternative to priority midfield target Jude Bellingham for the summer of 2023.

It is no secret at this point that Real Madrid are intent on strengthening their midfield next summer as Luka Modric enters the final phase of his career while Toni Kroos has been hinting at retirement as well.

Bellingham has been identified as the primary target by the Merengues, and is seen as the final piece to complete the midfield transition at the club.

However, the 19-year-old is attracting serious interest from the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool and could end up costing in excess of €100 million – something that Real Madrid are unwilling to pay.

As a result, Los Blancos are keeping their options open and have landed on Enzo Fernandez as a possible alternative in case they miss out on Bellingham.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are keeping tabs on the 21-year-old Argentine at the World Cup and have been impressed by his performance against Mexico – a game in which he scored a spectacular goal.

Real Madrid were interested in signing Enzo Fernandez back when he was at River Plate and were close to completing the transfer. But the move fell through because of two reasons.

Firstly, the club had no non-EU slots remaining in the first-team squad, which is no longer an issue now that Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr and Eder Militao have all received Spanish citizenship.

The second issue was the concern regarding the adaptation period the player might need after moving from South America to Europe. However, those fears have been allayed by Fernandez’s performances for Benfica this season.

Indeed, since joining the Portuguese outfit in the summer, the 21-year-old has made a big impression, producing three goals and five assists in 24 matches. And he has continued to do well at the World Cup, convincing Real Madrid that he can be a top signing.

Benfica signed Enzo Fernandez in a deal worth €18 million, including variables. While his value has skyrocketed over the past few months and he is contracted with the club until 2027, the Argentine is unlikely to cost more than €100 million.

So, in case Real Madrid deem Bellingham as too expensive or get beaten by other suitors to his signing, Enzo Fernandez is being lined up as the alternative.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid not in talks with Tottenham Hotspur for 29-year-old forward



Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

According to a recent report from Fabrizio Romano (h/t Madrid Xtra), there is nothing concrete at the moment between Harry Kane and Real Madrid. The two parties have not held any talks and a potential transfer is distant.

Los Blancos’ admiration of the English striker is not a novel development for the Spanish giants have been monitoring his situation for a couple of seasons now.

Tottenham’s high financial demands coupled with Karim Benzema’s breathtaking form kept Kane’s pursuit out of sight, but the situation has now changed.

Real Madrid’s French striker may be the current Ballon d’Or holder but he has struggled to recreate his form this season. His subpar performances and age force the club to look for a new face and Kane is unsurprisingly back in the mix.

The England captain has a contract with Spurs that runs until 2024 and he has not agreed on a new deal with the Premier League side. His dire drought for trophies at the club level could force him to move to greener pastures and there is a long line of suitors awaiting his availability.

Manchester United and Bayern Munich both, like Real Madrid, are in need of a new centre-forward and thus join the Merengues in Kane’s pursuit.

The 29-year-old striker has started 28 Premier League games for Antonio Conte’s side this season, scoring a whopping 21 goals and providing two assists in the process. The fact that his goal tally came off a relatively low xG of 15.6 shows Kane’s effectiveness in front of the goal.

Karim Benzema is likely to renew for another season, but the summer could see the Galacticos go all out for a big-name striker. Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland are some of the other names considered, though it is clear that neither of them would arrive cheap.

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