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Serie A president suggests €110 million striker could have signed for Real Madrid

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid did not go into the 2023 summer transfer window with any plans to bring in a superstar forward. They intended to spend €100 million-plus on Jude Bellingham while trying to cover other holes in the team with limited money.

However, Karim Benzema’s decision to leave the club on a free transfer to join Al-Ittihad came as a huge shock to them. Everyone at the club expected him to stay for another season, after which they would assess that position.

And while Bellingham has taken over the major chunk of the goalscoring responsibility at the club, Joselu was brought in as the striker replacement.

Madrid were also targeting other players at the time, who could fill in the void, among which was of course, Kylian Mbappe. The Frenchman refused to leave Paris this summer, once again, though.

Another player on Madrid’s radar was Napoli’s Victor Osimhen. Coming off a spectacular season, leading them to the Serie A trophy while scoring 26 goals and assisting four, he was expected to be his on his way to bigger things.

Eventually, he ended up staying, despite interest from several top clubs. Napoli president, in fact, suggested an interest from Madrid from last summer.

“We knew that, otherwise talks over new deal would not have been that long. Probably last summer he was gonna join Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain or an English club,” Aurelio de Laurentiis said, as quoted by Fabrizio Romano.

Earlier this week, the Nigerian spoke to CBS (h/t Romano), and revealed that he has already decided where he wants to play next season. He is expected to disclose the information once the 2023/24 season closes.

“I have already made my decision on the next step to do at the end of the season. I already made up my mind. I already have my plan, I know what I want to do, the next step I want to take”, Osimhen said.

Osimhen is expected to cost well over €100 million, which Madrid will be able to afford. However, it is clear that their first priority is Mbappe, who could be available on a free transfer.

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Features

Real Madrid’s best lineup next season with Kroos retiring, Mbappe and Endrick joining

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Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

It is set up to be a transformative summer for Real Madrid. After the UEFA Champions League final has concluded and the grand showdown finally has a victor, the Merengues are expected to undergo a squad revamp.

Indeed, the Santiago Bernabeu is preparing to welcome several high-profile signings, while also bidding farewell to some beloved Madrid legends.

Considering the potential arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, as well as Toni Kroos’ recent retirement, here is how Real Madrid could shape up next season:

Goalkeeper

Having made a long-awaited return from injury, Thibaut Courtois is anticipated to guard Real Madrid’s goal next season once more.

The Belgian goalie has already started featuring in the starting XI and is expected to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, too.

As such, his place for next season is hardly in doubt. However, unlike previous seasons, he will face much fiercer competition from Andriy Lunin, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign.

Defence

Fortifications in the defensive line remain high on Real Madrid’s priority list in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, even with the given options the Royal Whites boast assurance and grit in their back-line.

The likely occupants on the flanks would be Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, who have both produced great exhibitions throughout the campaign.

Ferland Mendy has the full trust of Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Carvajal is known to punish defensive lines and on the defensive end, his anticipation of forwards has been equally appreciable.

Meanwhile, Mendy’s resurgence this season has earned him immense faith from the coaching staff, as his defensive aptitude continues to set him apart.

In the centre-back positions, Real Madrid are expected to rely on the dependable figures of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.

Real Madrid consider Rudiger to be indispensable owing to his front-footed style and the important role he has had to play amidst the injury crisis. Similarly, Militao is valued by the team as he proceeds to regain match fitness after recovering from a long-term injury.

Midfield

The void of Toni Kroos in midfield will compel coach Carlo Ancelotti and co. to
reconsider their midfield strategy.

Real Madrid will be unable to count on Kroos next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their succession stage had begun a while ago and they have ample options to trust in the center of the park.

With Aurelien Tchouameni protecting the base of midfield, Real Madrid will possess security and deep progression.

Ahead, occupying the interior midfield positions, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are well-suited to provide a combination of energy off the ball and threat in possession.

And to put the cherry on top, Jude Bellingham’s place as the number 10 behind the two strikers would certify his status as a pivotal playmaker and scorer in the team’s setup.

However, he is adept at making third-man runs and connecting the midfield with the offence and could play deeper to not only make up for Kroos’ absence but also facilitate more options up front.

Attack

Real Madrid’s offensive department is where the largest reform is expected to take place.

Kylian Mbappe’s goalscoring instincts need little introduction by now and he is thus anticipated to be fielded as the striker.

Vinicius Jr. is expected to take up the position as a secondary striker drifting from the left, something he has become quite accustomed to this season.

Endrick will have to battle for a starting spot. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Endrick could also play a part by either replacing Vinicius off the bench and playing off Mbappe.

It remains to be seen how many men forward Ancelotti will commit to but the presence of Mbappe and Vinicius seems set in stone, given their huge profiles and status in world football. How the manager uses Rodrygo Goes will be interesting to see as well.

All in all, considering Ancelotti’s proficiency in profiling players, Madrid fans can expect to see these stars play in favourable environments.

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