An ACL rupture suffered by Thibaut Courtois just a few days before the start of the 2023/24 season forced Real Madrid into the market for a new goalkeeper.
After all, the nature of the serious injury suffered by the Belgian international meant that he would be out of action for almost the entirety of the season.
While Los Blancos eventually ended up signing Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan from Chelsea, they had looked into several options, one of which was Yassine Bounou, a.k.a. Bono.
The former Sevilla goalkeeper, who signed for Al Hilal, in the summer had been under consideration at the Santiago Bernabeu, but the move did not materialise.
Bono claims he was Madrid’s first choice
Now, speaking in an interview on Canal Sur Radio (h/t MARCA), Bono has claimed that he was indeed “the first choice” for Real Madrid this summer to replace Courtois.
However, he added that the move did not materialise as his potential involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations at the beginning of 2024 raised some concerns with the Merengues’ administration.
“That’s what I understand. Afterwards, the board analysed the situation, saw that I could go to the Africa Cup and miss a lot of games in an important month for Real Madrid and it wasn’t possible,” the 32-year-old Moroccan international said.
“Besides, they had other options that they could manage on loan that suited them better.”
“The African Cup has had a big influence on this market, both for me and for Youssef (En-Nesyri),” Bono further insisted.
Kepa Real Madrid’s temporary first-choice
With Bono not arriving, Real Madrid roped in Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan from Chelsea and have wasted no time in handing him the reins of the goal.
The Spaniard himself was close to joining Bayern Munich but made a swift U-turn when Real Madrid came calling.
“In the end, Real Madrid is Real Madrid. When Real Madrid calls you, there are few things to think about,” he recently admitted.
Despite Andriy Lunin impressing in the first two matches of the season, Kepa now appears to be the preferred option in goal, having started against Celta Vigo and Getafe.
Real Madrid very happy with future star Endrick, eagerly awaiting his arrival in 2024 – Romano
Real Madrid’s attacking unit has been crippled by the loss of Karim Benzema earlier in the summer, which was followed by the loss of Vinicius Jr due to injury.
Although Vinicius has returned, there is much left to be desired from the Madrid frontline as we progress through to the season.
Real Madrid, though, are waiting on the arrival of Endrick. The young Brazilian is set to join the Real Madrid squad in the summer of 2024 when he turns 18.
Real Madrid impressed by Endrick
Endrick has already started his preparation for his pending move to Santiago Bernabeu, having performed exceptionally well in his native Brazil this year.
The youngster is constantly working on his game, in order to further improve himself as an attacker. It has left Real Madrid quite happy and eager for his arrival, reports Fabrizio Romano.
The journalist claims that Real Madrid have been keeping close tabs on everything Endrick has been doing, on and off the pitch, at Palmeiras.
And they have received very good reports on the 17-year-old, with the club impressed by how he is putting efforts to improve himself both performance-wise and in other facets.
Despite there being some question marks over his performances, the teenage forward is starting to showcase his potential, having scored five goals in five starts for Palmeiras.
Endrick also learning new languages
Endrick is not only just working on his performance. In fact, the Brazilian is also learning other languages in order to quickly settle into life in Spain.
The youngster can speak Portuguese, but he may have to master Spanish during his time at Santiago Bernabeu.
As mentioned earlier, Endrick can already speak Portuguese, which should go a long way in helping him team up with fellow Brazilians Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo.
Even Eder Militao can speak Portuguese, which should make it easier for Endrick to adapt to life in Spain, at least for the next year or so.