- From Florentino's shoulder to the connection of money and faith with Arabia: the months in which Benzema was saying goodbye
On Sunday, while the Santiago Bernabéu bid farewell with honors to Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio and greeted for the last time, and with some indifference, Eden Hazard and Mariano, many Real Madrid fans asked the same question: "What now?" In a matter of days, the white team has said goodbye to one of the greatest legends in its history, author of 354 goals, captain, number 9 and Golden Ball. Next to him, the Balearic, fourth top scorer of the season (12) behind the French (31), Vinicius and Rodrygo. 43 so many who go overboard Chamartín and who need names at the height of the club to return. Beyond the expected goal-scoring evolution of the Brazilians, in the table of Valdebebas there are two names: Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappé.
Tottenham's Englishman, who turns 30 in a month, has scored 30 goals this season in the Premier League, just six fewer than Erling Haaland. He is the candidate that Valdebebas likes the most and his contract, which ends in June 2024, should help in negotiations with Daniel Levy, head of the London team and old Real Madrid enemy of other battles such as those of Luka Modric or Gareth Bale. In Chamartín they assume that they will be complicated conversations, but they trust in the good relationship with Levy and in the desire of Kane, who after a lifetime at Tottenham observes the Bernabéu as the great challenge of his career.
Spurs, in addition, will not play European competitions this season and are without a coach since the departure of Conte. The Greek Ange Postecoglou, of Celtic, sounds, and everything looks towards a forced reconstruction. There he wants to fish Madrid, who will try to sign him for less than 100 million. Kane is the fourth most valuable striker in the market behind Mbappe, Haaland and Osimhen, the Napoli attacker, and has 60 goals between the last three seasons of the Premier League. An heir at the height of what is a '9' of Madrid and a star according to the premiere of the new Bernabéu.
After Kane few convince
Beyond him, in the technical direction of Valdebebas he does not like almost any option. And it is that football is lacking in goalscorers. Lautaro does not convince, Osimhen will be too expensive, Gabriel Jesus could arrive in 2022 and now it is impossible, Julián Álvarez signed for City... And from there the drop in level is important, with Dusan Vlahovic, 23-year-old striker of Juventus, as one of the most interesting alternatives now that the Italian club will only play the Conference League. But it would be a step lower than Kane and perhaps at a price too high for what Madrid considers (Juve paid 80 for him a year ago. Young people like Gonçalo Ramos (21, Benfica), Hojlund (20, Atalanta) or Kolo Muani (24, Eintracht) emerge as bets for the future, but in Chamartín they are looking for a world star as the first option, and that is only Kane.
If Levy is insurmountable in the talks, Madrid, with the transfer of Joselu closed for next season, Madrid will forget about the 'top' and start thinking about 2024. That is: Kylian Mbappé.
Mbappé and 2024...
The French striker, who in 2022 broke his word and rejected at the last minute his signing for Madrid to renew with PSG, ends his contract in June 2024. In the Real Madrid leadership they are aware that negotiating with the Sheikh is impossible, but they have once again received good harmony from the striker and his environment. He regrets his decision and after two seasons staying out of the Champions League in the knockout stages, he seems determined to make the leap to Spain. In Valdebebas they do not trust his word at all, but they assume that he is one of the three best footballers in the world. If you have to make a bet and wait for someone, it's because of him. The other would be Haaland, but getting the Norwegian out of Manchester is mission impossible.
Looking beyond the '9' post. Madrid needs attackers. Brahim Díaz will return from his loan to Milan and will be used as a wardrobe after the departure of Asensio. In Germany they insist on the interest Real Madrid in Kai Havertz, a 23-year-old midfielder from Chelsea who can play in all positions of the attack. The German has been liked in Valdebebas since he played at Leverkusen and is on the wish list, but it is believed that Chelsea do not want to negotiate for him.
In midfield, Madrid are about to close Jude Bellingham, Dortmund's 19-year-old England international, in exchange for more than 100 million. He could inherit Hazard's '7'. With Kane, they would be two Britons in an increasingly Anglo-Saxon dressing room. Courtois, Alaba, Rüdiger, Mendy, Kroos, Modric, Tchouaméni and Camavinga have no problems with the language. Two 'robberies' to a Premier every year more powerful.
In defense, Madrid will re-sign Fran Garcia, del Rayo, and work on the departures of Odriozola and Vallejo, who have contracts until 2024, such as Lunin, who could also leave the goal. In total they could be up to seven casualties (and we will see if any more surprises) and 4 or 5 highs, making the template somewhat shorter compared to last season and giving room in the calls to quarrymen such as Álvaro, Arribas or Nico Paz.
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