It is no secret at this point that Real Madrid have made Jude Bellingham their top priority for the summer of 2023. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder is one of the most sought-after commodities in the transfer market and is set to mark a big bidding war next year.
Indeed, apart from Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City are all keen on signing the 19-year-old Englishman. Given the competition for his services and his rising stock, the midfielder could command a huge transfer fee, especially if he has a strong World Cup.
Figures of around €150 million are already being mentioned, although Real Madrid are said to be unwilling to pay over the top for Bellingham.
It could force them to look at other potential options to reinforce their midfield department in the summer. And according to SPORT, Real Madrid have Bellingham as their main target for 2023 but have four more names behind him as possible options.
The four players on the Merengues’ radars as potential backups for Bellingham are Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of Lazio, Enzo Fernandez of SL Benfica and Lovro Majer of Rennes.
Tielemans is a popular target among several clubs in the market as his contract with Leicester expires next year and he has shown no indication of signing a renewal. However, the Foxes want to offer him a two-year deal and if he does not sign it, they may consider a salein January itself.
As for Milinkovic-Savic, the Serbian midfield powerhouse has been eternally linked with Real Madrid in the past three to four years. However, Lazio’s asking price for the 27-year-old meant that a move never materialised. But he remains on Los Blancos’ agenda as a possible option if Bellingham does not join.
Enzo Fernandez was on Real Madrid’s radar before he joined SL Benfica this past summer. The Argentine has made a good start to life in Europe and, at 21, has shown that he can be a top player, although he would command a huge transfer fee, given that he still has five years left on his contract.
Lastly, Lovro Majer is also seen as an option by Real Madrid. Dubbed the ‘next Luka Modric’, the Croatian international has been doing well for Rennes since joining them last year. Linked with Atletico Madrid as well, the 24-year-old recently signed a new contract, committing himself to the club until 2027.
It remains to be seen how Real Madrid go about their transfer business next summer. But as iterated earlier, Bellingham remains the main objective for the Spanish capital club.
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