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Real Madrid want midfielder to decide on future by February, Bellingham eyed as replacement



Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

According to a recent report from MARCA, Real Madrid want Toni Kroos to take a decision on his future at the club by the end of February, so that they can firm up their plans to go after Jude Bellingham next summer.

Kroos has entered the final year of his contract with Los Blancos. The German midfielder had turned down an extension earlier this year and there is speculation about the 32-year-old considering retirement at the end of the ongoing campaign when his contract expires.

Nevertheless, the former Bayern Munich superstar is yet to make a decision on a possible contract renewal. Real Madrid, for their part, respect Kroos and believe that he has earned the right to decide whether he wants to sign a new deal or retire.

However, as per the report, the champions of Spain and Europe would ideally prefer if the veteran midfielder would communicate his decision to the club by February and not wait until the end of the season to do so.

In case Kroos decides not to extend his contract, Real Madrid will ramp up their efforts to sign Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund in the summer transfer window.

The England international has been identified as the top target for the Merengues ahead of next season and while they are expected to go after him irrespective of Kroos’ decision, they will make bigger efforts to land him if the veteran midfielder decides to step away.

Signing him from Dortmund will not be straightforward as Real Madrid will have to stave off competition from the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

While they have been laying the groundwork, closing the deal at the earliest would be their best bet to beat the rest of the competition. And for that, Los Blancos would need to get a confirmation about Kroos’ future beyond the current campaign.

The German superstar joined Real Madrid in 2014 and has been one of the most pivotal players at the club since then, playing an integral role in the success that the Merengues have achieved during that period.

Whether this season turns out to be his last in the white of Real Madrid remains to be seen.

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Real Madrid News

U-turn? Benzema hints at Real Madrid stay during ceremony: “Reality is not the internet”



Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

There has been a lot of talk around Karim Benzema’s situation over the course of the last week or so, with reports claiming that the Frenchman was on his way out of the Santiago Bernabeu.

With his contract expiring at the end of the season, it was reported that Benzema was joining Al Ittihad as part of an incredible deal worth nearly €200 million. The striker was also offered 100% of his image rights and advertising deals by the Saudi government.

Over the last day or so, it has been reported that the move is all but official at the moment, as Benzema has accepted the offer, and will soon inform Real Madrid about it.

Benzema was awarded the MARCA Leyenda awards for contribution to sports today, and speaking during it, he dropped a rather cryptic message about his future – one that says quite the opposite to what has been in the news recently.

“Speak to the fans? Speak about what? Why should I speak of the future if I’m in Madrid?”, Benzema said.

“It’s the internet speaking, and reality is not the internet,” he added.

This certainly falls away from the departure line for Benzema, who was reportedly already contemplating his life away from Madrid.

At first, though, he was hesitant about speaking about his future, saying, “Staying or leaving Real Madrid? At the moment, I’m here…we have a game on Saturday.”

He repeatedly talked about the fans, calling them the best in world football. He also said, “I know how much Real Madrid fans love me. I feel that when I’m on the pitch, I give my best for them, always.”

“I always say that we play with 11 on the pitch but also with a crucial factor, Real Madrid fans,” Benzema concluded.

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