Karim Benzema warming up for Real Madrid

Real Madrid have reportedly drawn up a three-man shortlist to provide cover for Karim Benzema next season.

According to Defensa Central (via Fichajes.net), Real Madrid have prioritised signing a centre-forward capable of stepping up in Benzema’s absence, this summer. Madrid believe that Endrick, who will join them in the summer of 2024, will take the baton from Benzema. So, they’re not considering signing a big-ticket striker this summer.

Three players have been shortlisted to become Benzema’s understudy, including Brazil ace Richarlison and Argentina’s 2022 FIFA World Cup-winning forward Paulo Dybala. Marcus Thuram is the third name on the shortlist.

Richarlison is yet to find his footing at Tottenham Hotspur, scoring only twice in 27 games across competitions. It’s believed that the former Everton man wants a change of scenery, and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is a fan of the versatile player.

Dybala, who played only 17 minutes for Argentina at the Qatar World Cup, has a €12 million exit clause in his AS Roma contract that will be activated this summer. Roma reportedly wish to keep the 29-year-old at the club, but Dybala is yet to provide a positive response.

Finally, there’s Thuram, who’s reportedly seen as the perfect substitute for Benzema. The Borussia Monchengladbach man will become a free agent in June, wants to join a big club, and, at only 25, has age on his side. He has been linked with a move to Barcelona, but they might find the move difficult to pull off due to Financial Fair Play regulations.

Benzema has missed ten La Liga games this season due to injuries and knocks. The 35-year-old has started every other game in the division, getting very little rest.

Jofre Mateu says Real Madrid midfielders Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are still capable of producing the goods

Former Barcelona man Jofre Mateu has shot down claims that Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are not sprightly enough to play for Real Madrid anymore.

Mateu said that the midfield maestros won two La Liga and a Champions League since the discussion started three years back. Speaking to NDTV Sports, he said:

“This debate of ageing players started three years back in Madrid. Since then, they’ve won two league titles and a Champions League. It’s that they are in a transition. Modric and Kroos can’t play the whole 90 minutes. But, both are invested in the game and have shown that they can play. I feel Real Madrid are ready because of the experience they have.”

Modric, 37, has played 39 games for Madrid this season, scoring six times and providing six assists. Kroos, 33, has also played 39 games, scoring twice and claiming six assists.

The midfielders, who run out of contract in June, are expected to start when Madrid take on Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg on Tuesday (April 12).

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Edited by Sushan Chakraborty


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