MISSION: SIGN A NO. 9
Real Madrid have a long list of candidates to replace Karim Benzema
With Karim Benzema unexpectedly leaving Real Madrid this summer, the club are now in even more urgent need of a new centre-forward.
"We want a striker who can score goals and link up the play effectively,” Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti says. “We need to make signings and we’ll do that.”
The player most heavily tipped to move to the Bernabéu is Harry Kane. He fits the profile Madrid are looking for, and could join for around €80m.
Meanwhile, Bild reports that Madrid have tabled a bid for Chelsea’s Kai Havertz. His age (24) and expected price (€60m) appeal to Los Blancos.
Havertz is a stylish player who is good in the air and boasts fine close control. Not an out-and-out centre-forward, he is widely compared to Benzema.
Roberto Firmino, who is leaving Liverpool on a free, is also being linked with Madrid. The club are interested, but no contact has been made so far.
Erling Haaland looks out of reach for now, but Madrid are hopeful of a future deal. He has spoken of his desire to link back up with Jude Bellingham.
Bellingham seems all but certain to move to the Spanish capital. Talks with his club, Borussia Dortmund, are now believed to be at an advanced stage.
Inter pair Lautaro Martínez and Romelu Lukaku are also options. Martínez has scored a goal every 144 minutes this term; Lukaku, every 140 minutes.
While Lukaku looks set for a Chelsea return, Martínez is being more heavily tipped for Madrid - but Inter say they’ve heard nothing from the Spaniards.
Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic is another name on the list of potentials. A bid for the Serbian could be helped by Madrid’s good relationship with Juve.
A left-footer, Vlahovic boasts immense physical strength and is a fine first-time finisher. He can beat players and drop deep to receive the ball.
Serie A top scorer Victor Osimhen is a target for a host of clubs across Europe, but Napoli are reluctant to sell. He would likely cost north of €100m.
Julián Álvarez and Gonçalo Ramos have been linked with Madrid, but Álvarez is set to stay at Man City and Los Blancos’ interest in Ramos looks to have cooled.