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Real Madrid to battle Chelsea, Man City for 20-year-old Bundesliga defender – Romano

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Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Josko Gvardiol lit up the footballing world and sparked interest from clubs across the world, including Real Madrid, with his run at the FIFA World Cup.

As a regular starter for the Croatian International team in Qatar, he single-handedly held the side’s defence on numerous occasions and was one of the biggest reasons for their third-place finish.

Real Madrid did not take long to jump into the race to sign him, but it soon became increasingly clear that the move would be complicated. Gvardiol was said to be happy at RB Leipzig and wished to continue at the club beyond the summer.

According to reports from Fabrizio Romano via Wettfreunde, the race to sign the centre-back has once again opened. Real Madrid will have to battle it out against Chelsea and Manchester City for his signature, with both Premier League sides seriously interested.

Earlier this month, the youngster issued an official update about his future and said that he would stay in Germany for the foreseeable future.

“My plan is that I stay here. I think everyone has seen Max Eberl’s statement. I’m okay with that,” he had said.

While a move in January is ruled out, Los Blancos will certainly look to push the limit and sign him in June. Given that David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger are both crossing 30 years of age, a young centre-back to start alongside Eder Militao, in the long run, could be a smart addition.

In 13 Bundesliga appearances for Leipzig this season, the 20-year-old defender has overseen one clean sheet and averages over five defensive actions per game.

In the World Cup, Gvardiol recorded a whopping ten defensive actions per ninety minutes and helped Croatia to two clean sheets in six games.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti ‘liked’ €70 million Portuguese full-back offered to Real Madrid in January

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Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP via Getty Images

Joao Cancelo has, for a long time, been considered one of the best full-backs in the world of football. What makes the Portuguese international special is not just his ability to contribute flawlessly at both ends of the field but also the fact that he can recreate his magic on both flanks.

For a player of such quality to depart Manchester City unsurprisingly broke the internet. Cancelo signed for Bayern Munich on a six-month loan in January with a whopping €70 million purchase clause included in the paperwork.

According to reports from AS, the player preferred a move to Spain. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona were offered Cancelo’s services, and it was only after both La Liga giants rejected it that Bayern Munich got the chance to sign him.

For the Catalans, the player’s salary was the hurdle preventing his arrival. In Real Madrid’s case, however, it was the board’s reluctance to change the squad midway through the season.

For a long time now, Real Madrid have maintained a low profile in winter transfer windows. Carlo Ancelotti liked the full-back’s profile and saw him as a good fit, but the management would not hear of it.

Real Madrid have had a torrid time at the full-back position in recent weeks, indicating that the squad was in urgent need of new signings.

For almost a month, Ancelotti has been without a right-back after both Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal suffered injuries. Just as the latter recovered, Ferland Mendy hobbled off the field and could miss six weeks of action.

Cancelo’s signing would have thus been the ideal way to kill two birds with one stone. Nevertheless, the management have their faith in the young Vinicius Tobias and it remains to be seen if their gamble pays off.

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