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Real Madrid were initially planning to buy then-Barcelona target instead of Eder Militao

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Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

A recent report from MARCA has offered key insights into Juni Calafat’s time at Real Madrid, as the chief scout of the club.

The 49-year-old is considered one of three main figureheads at Real Madrid, along with Florentino Perez and Jose Angel Sanchez. He is the brains behind the club’s operation to sign talents such as Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.

Although Calafat has no footballing background, he has a great deal of influence in Brazilian football. He is also very persistent and more often than not, manages to convince the other Real Madrid bosses of his transfer choices.

One such instance saw him convince Real Madrid to buy Eder Militao in 2019 even though the other authority within the club had preferred the signing of Matthijs de Ligt.

The Dutchman was a hot prospect in the transfer market at the time, especially after an excellent campaign with Ajax, where he had helped the club reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

But thanks to Juni Calafat’s influence, Real Madrid ended up signing Militao, which has proven to be a wise choice for the club.

While Militao did initially endure a slow start to his career at Santiago Bernabeu, the Brazilian has grown by stature in recent years. He is now considered the main defensive lynchpin in the team, having already featured in almost 100 matches for Los Blancos.

Militao’s performances have improved significantly as well, with the Brazilian showcasing exceptional leadership, experience and ability to read the game. These qualities have helped him build a formidable partnership with David Alaba, ultimately making Real Madrid one of the most defensively astute teams in La Liga.

Hence, the reigning Spanish champions only have Juni Calafat to thank for their pursuit of Militao. As for de Ligt, the Dutchman has not quite managed to live up to the expectations and is currently plying his trade for Bayern Munich, hoping to speed up his progress under Julian Nagelsmann.

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Real Madrid News

Transfer Triumph: In-demand defender picks Real Madrid above other suitors

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Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid have received a major transfer boost as Lille defender, Leny Yoro, has chosen to join Los Blancos over other interested clubs, reports Alejandro Alcazar via SPORT.

When Paris Saint-Germain attempted to negotiate a deal with Lille, offering more money than Real Madrid, Yoro made it clear he preferred the Spanish giants. 

Despite PSG’s efforts, including meetings with Yoro’s representatives, they could not convince him to change his mind.

Interestingly, the outlet mentions that Yoro is following a similar path to his compatriot Aurelien Tchouameni, who also chose Real Madrid despite competition from PSG and several Premier League teams. 

Real Madrid really value Yoro

Real Madrid see Yoro as a valuable addition, especially with the recent departure of Nacho. This move has made it crucial for the club to find a reliable replacement, and Yoro is their chosen candidate. 

It is to be noted that Yoro has one year remaining on his contract with Lille, who initially asked for a hefty €100 million transfer fee. 

Leny Yoro has picked Real Madrid over PSG, Liverpool and Man United. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

This amount was considered too high for a player who could leave for free after a year. Lille eventually reduced the asking price to €60 million, an amount that PSG and other clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool were willing to meet. 

However, Real Madrid were not prepared to pay more than €30 million, knowing that Yoro wanted to join them and could do so for free next year.

What is Real Madrid’s strategy?

It is said that Real Madrid’s initial plan was to let Yoro play one more year at Lille and sign him for free in 2025. They were even ready to offer Yoro a special signing bonus, similar to what they did with David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger, which would be added to his salary. 

But Nacho’s departure changed everything. Real Madrid now urgently need a fourth central defender, prompting them to enter negotiations with Lille, something they had previously avoided.

To secure Yoro’s signing this summer, Real Madrid are considering raising their offer to €40 million, including performance-based bonuses. 

Lille might accept this offer, knowing that Yoro could either join Real Madrid now or stay for another year and leave for free.

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