Real Madrid News
Real Madrid turned down the chance to sign 23-year-old Serie A striker
Earlier this morning, reports came out of Italy suggesting Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic wants to join Real Madrid in this ongoing January transfer window.
The Serbian forward has netted many goals at Juventus since joining the club a year ago. But his time in Turin could come to an early end, thanks to the club’s ongoing problems in Serie A, where they are dawdling on the wrong half of the league table.
Juventus have been deducted 15 points due to the handling of the transfers and are currently 13th in the table, meaning they are now running the risk of missing out on Champions League football next season.
This has led to Vlahovic demanding an exit from Juve and it appears the forward is keen on joining Real Madrid. This claim has been confirmed by Libertad Digital, who suggest that the 23-year-old has informed his agent that he wants to become the main striker for the Whites.
However, the report goes on to confirm that Real Madrid have no intention to exercise the offer to sign Vlahovic. Although they are in desperate need of a long-term replacement for Karim Benzema, they are not interested in signing a player in the winter transfer window.
The club favour waiting until the summer transfer window before committing to an individual. This is partly because Real Madrid are focusing on player contracts this month. They are also aware of the fact that there might be many more options in the summer, with a host of star players running out of contract.
Another key reason behind their rejection of Juventus’ Vlahovic is that the Serbian is expected to cost a fortune. As such, the Whites are not interested in making a move and are more than willing to deploy Rodygo as the main alternative for Benzema during the second half of the campaign.
Real Madrid News
Kovacic speaks ahead of Real Madrid vs Chelsea: “Strange to have Modric as a rival”
In less than two weeks, Real Madrid will play hosts to Premier League giants Chelsea in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It is a repeat of last season’s Champions League quarter-final, with the change being that the first leg was played at Stamford Bridge back then, which Real Madrid won triumphantly.
So, even though they lost the second leg 3-2, Los Merengues progressed on aggregate. At one point in the second leg, Real Madrid were 3-0 down and looked to be crashing out of the tournament.
But, that is not how the match played out as Luka Modric produced a moment of magic, sending in a stunning outside-of-the-boot pass for Rodrygo to guide home. That forced the match into extra time and Karim Benzema then scored to seal an aggregate win for his team.
Mateo Kovacic, a former Real Madrid midfielder, was on the losing side with Chelsea on that fateful night. And the Croatian has now spoken to Sportske Novosti, about that moment of magic from Modric last year as well as the prospect of facing Real Madrid again.
“We were good against Real Madrid last year, especially in Madrid. Then Modrić invented that trivela assist for Rodrygo… We have to be at 120% against them. They immediately punish every minor mistake. Although I repeat, we are also a difficult opponent for them, we showed it,“ Kovacic said.
On the prospect of facing his close friend and national teammate Modric, Kovacic added: “[laughs] how the draw arranges it… It won’t be easy for us because Real Madrid is always the most dangerous team in the Champions League.”
“It’s a strange feeling to have Modric as a rival. There were hard fouls last year because neither he nor I pull back. We will fight for sure. I play on the left, he’s on the right, we will see who wants what. But I wouldn’t like to hurt him,” he added.
Chelsea had met Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League during the 2020/21 campaign as well and had managed to eliminate them at the semi-final stages on their way to winning the title.
While the Blues have not been in the best of form this season, they have the star power and quality in their ranks to hurt Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti’s men must be at their best to get through to the next round.