Ahead of the summer transfer window, Real Madrid were heavily tipped to make a superstar signing. Kylian Mbappe was the player most heavily linked with a move to Santiago Bernabeu until he suddenly decided to renew his contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
The PSG player’s decision to snub Los Blancos have not derailed their ambitions of signing a rising superstar.
According to reports from Estadio Deportivo, Real Madrid consider Jude Bellingham as the next missing piece in their puzzle. He is seen as a long-term ‘creative midfielder’ by the management and the Merengues will go all out for his signing.
Since his move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, the midfielder has made headlines regularly. In 32 league appearances for the Bundesliga side last season, the teenager scored three goals and provided eight assists. In 2020/21, he made four goal contributions in just 19 starts.
Real Madrid are looking to move on from their golden midfield of Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric in the coming years.
Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga are two young players who are expected to be a part of the midfield set-up for at least the next decade, while Federico Valverde is also in the mix. And one would expect Bellingham to take the third spot in the middle of the park.
However, Los Blancos are not the only club eyeing the 19-year-old. Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are also in the race for his signing and present stiff competition.
Belligham’s contract with Dortmund expires only in the summer of 2025. The England international is valued in the ballpark of €100 million, meaning that Carlo Ancelotti’s side will have to shell out a large sum to secure his signing.
UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”
Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.
Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.
A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.
Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista
Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”
The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.
“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.
Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.
Topuria’s message for Mbappe
Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.
When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”
Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.
Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.