By David Kappel
With Neymar and Kylian Mbappe seemingly not available in this transfer window, Real Madrid could reportedly shift their focus to a new striker to replace the goals of the departed Cristiano Ronaldo, and are said to be weighing up four options.
Los Blancos sold Ronaldo for €100 million (R1.54 billion) to Juventus, and initial reports suggested that club president Florentino Perez would respond by signing a new “Galactico”.
However, both Neymar and Mbappe have said they are keen to stay at Paris Saint-Germain this season, while Real published statements that they are not in talks with either of the them, seemingly in order not to tarnish their relationship with the French club.
Eden Hazard remains an option, but he is currently on holiday, and Real appear to have cooled their interest in the Chelsea winger.
Meanwhile, reports out of Spain suggest that Los Blancos could attempt to sign an out-and-out striker to replace Ronaldo’s goals, and AS have listed four targets Real could look at.
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski has been linked with Los Blancos for a long time, but his rather disappointing performances against Real in the UEFA Champions League last season, as well as at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, have put the brakes on Perez’s interest.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has also been mentioned regularly, but Real would have to break the bank for him and are reportedly unsure about how he would settle in Spain.
PSG’s Edinson Cavani, who is already 31 years old, is understood to be keen to move to Santiago Bernabeu. AS have suggested he is a name on Real’s shopping list, but it remains to be seen whether or not Les Parisiens would be prepared to let their club record scorer go.
Valencia striker Rodrigo is currently AS’ favourite to be signed by Real. He scored 19 goals in 44 games for Valencia last season, and knows the Madrid club well, having come through its academy. In addition, he has worked successfully with Julen Lopetegui in the past.
Rodrigo has a €120 million (R1.85 billion) release clause, but Valencia are believed to be prepared to let him leave if a bid of €70 to €80 million (R1.1 billion to R1.2 billion) arrives.