Real Madrid remain on course to repeat their recent success under Carlo Ancelotti this season. The Italian manager has taken his team to the UEFA Champions League knockouts and within two points of La Liga leaders Barcelona after 14 games.
On that note, here's a look at the key Real Madrid transfer stories as on November 20, 2022:
Carlo Ancelotti wants Rafael Leao in January
The Italian manager is eager to bring in a new No. 9 to address Karim Benzema's injury woes. The French striker enjoyed a brilliant 2021-22 season but has struggled to stay fit this campaign.
The 34-year-old was selected in France's squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup but has now been ruled out of the tournament because of injury.
Los Blancos have suffered in his absence too, and Ancelotti wants to mitigate the situation at the turn of the year.
The Italian has identified Leao as the ideal candidate to bolster Madrid's attack. The Portuguese striker’s arrival could help end the La Liga giants’ overdependence on Benzema as they look to compete with Barcelona for the league.
Real Madrid have already shortlisted several players they will be monitoring at the World Cup, and Leao is also on the list. The 23-year-old has seven goals and nine assists from 20 games across competitions for the Rossoneri this season.
Real Madrid initiate contact for Benjamin Pavard
The French full-back is reportedly unsettled at Bayern Munich, with his contract set to run out in 2024. He's yet to sign an extension and could be available for a cut-price deal next summer. Madrid have already been in touch with the player’s entourage to lay down background work before a possible move.
Los Blancos have Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez in the right-back position, but both players are on the wrong side of 30. Alvaro Odriozola’s future is up in the air, with the Spaniard expected to depart next year. There have been question marks regarding Ferland Mendy’s future as well. In such circumstances, Pavard could be a superb addition to the squad.
The 26-year-old is adept at operating on both flanks and has been impressive for the Bavarians. The Frenchman has 140 appearances for the Bundesliga giants and has scored nine goals. Real Madrid, though, could face competition from Barcelona for his signature.
Fabrizio Romano updates on Los Blancos' Jude Bellingham pursuit
Acclaimed transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has provided an update on Los Blancos' pursuit of Jude Bellingham.
The English midfielder has emerged as one of the finest in his position at Borussia Dortmund. Los Blancos are hot on the heels of the 19-year-old as they look to build a midfield for the future.
Recent reports have suggested that the La Liga giants are reluctant to match the Bundesliga side’s asking price for Bellingham. However, in his column for Caught Offside, Romano said that the Englishman’s valuation is not set yet.
“I’ve seen the claim that Real Madrid are not ready to pay Borussia Dortmund’s asking price for Jude Bellingham, but here’s my understanding of the situation. … There’s no asking price yet for Bellingham,” said Romano.
“It will be decided in 2023. Real Madrid will be in the race alongside Liverpool, Manchester City and also Chelsea for Bellingham; it’s still not time to negotiate with Borussia Dortmund; this will happen in 2023. Contacts are just on the player’s side as of now, so I wouldn’t read too much into what the club’s demands could be just yet, as it will be decided later.”
Bellingham has appeared 22 times across competitions for Borussia Dortmund this season, registering nine goals and three assists.