Real Madrid and their representatives are reportedly negotiating a 100 million deal for their top Cristiano Ronaldo replacement, as Julen Lopetegui looks to strengthen his squad.
To say that Karim Benzema struggled last season for Real Madrid would be an absolute understatement. The Frenchman couldn’t find the goal last season, scoring only five in his 32 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid despite producing a further 11 assists. The last time the 30-year-old played this badly was his first season for Real Madrid when he finished the 2009/10 season with 8 goals.
That’s exactly why both Florentino Perez and manager Julen Lopetegui have created a shortlist of replacements to replace the Frenchman. However, with the club also losing Cristiano Ronaldo in a rather shocking transfer to Juventus, the list has had to amend. It now includes the likes of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi.
The Inter Milan captain has been in incredible form last season for the Serie A side, scoring 29 goals in 34 appearances, which has made him Lopetegui’s top target. However, with having already signed a new contract in August of 2016 increasing his release clause to a massive 100 million, the Nerazzurri wants to make it even bigger given interest from some of Europe’s top clubs.
According to Calciomercato, the Serie A club plan to increase the clause as well as extending Icardi’s current deal to 2023 and even give him a salary worth around 7 million-per-year. Things haven’t gone according to plan for the Inter Milan and Real Madrid have sent representatives to Rome to negotiate a deal for the Barcelona youth product.
According to further reports from Metro.com and Libertad Digital, the 25-year-old is one of Julen Lopetegui’s top targets and the Real Madrid boss wants him at the club. However, they are still in the early stages of negotiations but Real Madrid has less than a month to finish the deal. The Los Blancos already lost out on the likes of Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard and even Anthony Martial with the Premier League transfer window closing yesterday, but managed to sign Thibaut Courtois.
The Inter Milan captain is one of the most sought-after strikers in world football ever since his breakout 14/15 season, although many argue that it was his 13/14 that got him noticed. Icardi scored 22 goals in 36 appearances in 2014/15 Serie A and has since then go on to become the Nerazzurri numero uno striker. IF Real Madrid does manage to sign him, they get a brilliant poacher who has the ability to create and finish his own chances.