Real Madrid are preparing to travel to the Iberostar Stadium on Monday to face Mallorca in La Liga. Manager Carlo Ancelotti will turn his focus back to the league after taking his team to the quarter-finals of the Champions League in midweek. Madrid beat PSG 3-1 in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu to advance 3-2 on aggregate.
Meanwhile, Los Blancos have received a blow in their pursuit of Erling Haaland, with Manchester City leading the race for the Norwegian’s signature. Elsewhere, Karim Benzema believes he is having the best season of his career.
On that note, here’s a look at the key Real Madrid transfer stories as on 12th March 2022:
Real Madrid receive blow in Erling Haaland pursuit
Real Madrid have received a blow in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland. According to The Daily Mail, Manchester City have leapfrogged the La Liga giants in the race for the Norwegian striker. The 21-year-old is among the players Ancelotti wants to bring to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Los Blancos are putting in all their efforts to secure the services of Kylian Mbappe this summer. However, the Frenchman is not the only high-profile addition the Italian desires. The Blancos are also eager to rope in Haaland, although they would prefer him to join next summer.
Ancelotti is laying down succession plans for Karim Benzema. The Frenchman has been in outstanding form for Real Madrid this season. However, his current contract expires in 2023, and the La Liga giants have earmarked Haaland as his successor. Los Blancos were willing to alter their plans owing to the buzz surrounding the Norwegian’s future this year.
The 21-year-old will reportedly be available for a cut-price deal (€75 million), so top clubs around Europe are unwilling to miss the opportunity to sign him. It was previously believed Los Blancos were the favourites to secure his signature. However, Manchester City have left the competition behind after reportedly discussing personal terms with the Norwegian.
The framework of a potential deal is in place, and only the signatures of City chiefs are missing. Haaland’s father Alfie is a former player of the Cityzens, and perhaps that connection has worked its magic.
As of now, the 21-year-old, who has scored 16 Bundesliga goals this season, is expected to end up at the Etihad this summer. His overall tall for BvBy stands at 80 goals in 79 games across competitions.
Karim Benzema delighted with his season exploits
Karim Benzema believes he’s enjoying the best season of his career so far. The Frenchman has registered 30 goals from 33 appearances this campaign and is on course to break his previous goalscoring record for a season.
His hat-trick against PSG in midweek marked only the second instance of a Los Blancos player scoring a hat-trick with Madrid 2-0 down in a Champions League knockout game.
Speaking recently, Benzema said he strives to improve every season.
"I don't know if it was one of my best games for Real Madrid. I also think the Champions League final against Liverpool (is one of the best). It was a very big game, not just for me but for everyone. It could be (my best season). I always want to make every year better than the previous one,” said Benzema.
The striker continued:
"It was an unforgettable night. Because we went through, because of the atmosphere, the goals, the comeback. I'm proud, but it was because of the whole team, everyone on the pitch and of those who couldn't come on. All of the teammates, all of the coaches. It was a magical night for us all."
Madrid recovered from 0-2 down on aggregate after 61 minutes of the second leg at the Bernabeu. Thanks to Benzema’s 17-minute hat-trick, the 13-time winners stole a win from the jaws of imminent defeat as PSG were left wondering what might have been.
With 309 goals, Benzema surpassed Alfredo Di Stefano (308) and now trails only Cristiano Ronaldo (450) and Raul (323) in Madrid’s all-time scoring charts.
Sevilla monitoring Luka Jovic
The Serbian striker is a peripheral figure at the Santiago Bernabeu. He is expected to drop further down the pecking order after the imminent arrival of Kylian Mbappe this summer. Sevilla are offering Jovic an escape route from Real Madrid to resurrect his career. He has scored just thrice in 49 games across competitions for Los Blancos.
Julen Lopetegui brought in Anthony Martial on loan in January but is unlikely to sign the Frenchman permanently. Youssef En-Nesyri is also tipped to leave at the end of the season. Sevilla have identified Jovic as a possible target to address the situation. Los Blancos could let him leave for a suitable offer.