Reports: Real Madrid target former Barcelona striker as Alvaro Morata's replacement
What’s the story?
Former Barcelona striker Sandro Ramirez, now of Malaga, is being considered by Real Madrid as Alvaro Morata’s replacement, according to reports in Spanish newspaper, Marca. Everton were previously favourites to sign the Spanish striker, but Real Madrid are weighing up the idea of activating Sandro’s release clause and forcing through a move, which would still be for a relatively modest €6 million.
In case you didn’t know...
A youth product of Barcelona, Sandro made 32 appearances for the Blaugrana in 2 seasons, only scoring 7 goals. Deemed surplus to requirements, he was let go for free to Malaga, where the youngster has thrived, scoring an impressive 16 goals in 31 games for the La Liga side. However, Malaga have not placed a large release clause in his contract, which has seen Sandro garner the interest of clubs throughout Europe, with Everton and Atletico Madrid foremost amongst the clubs interested before Real Madrid voiced their interest.
The heart of the matter
If the move does go through, there is plenty of potential for awkwardness – on the last day of the Liga season, with Real Madrid needing to avoid defeat to Malaga, Sandro voiced his support for Barcelona, saying “Hopefully I can score and hand the title to Barcelona. Hopefully, it's a dream day; I owe them [Barça] everything."
Real Madrid have sent scouts to the U-21 Euros, where Sandro is featuring for Spain, although Los Blancos are looking at multiple targets at the tournament, including AC Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Alvaro Morata has kept Sandro on the bench for the most part, and Madrid are resigned to losing him to Manchester United.
Sandro would represent a brilliant piece of business for Real Madrid, as he would be a La Liga-ready backup for Karim Benzema for a dirt-cheap price, while also getting one over on their Catalan rivals.
It ought to be noted that Marca are a Madrid-based newspaper, so make what you will of this rumour. Rivalries aside, Sandro would represent quality backup, and the chance to compete in the UEFA Champions League would prove tempting – something Everton cannot offer. If Madrid do save money by triggering his release clause, they could also pony up the cash to the sizeable fee Kylian Mbappe is expected to command.