Real Madrid transfer roundup: Diego Costa to replace Benzema, Isco's Arsenal links and more
All the transfer news and rumours from in and around the Santiago Bernabeu.
Costa dreaming of Madrid move
According to reports from the Daily Star, Diego Costa is eying a chance to replace Karim Benzema at Real Madrid as Chelsea look to cash-in on their leading goal scorer this season. The reports claim that all is not well between Costa and his manager Antonio Conte after their bust-ups earlier this season.
The Spaniard was in the headlines for several weeks after his alleged interest in a move to China. The Blues, meanwhile, are keen to sell Costa this summer and sign Romelu Lukaku as his long-term replacement.
Spain’s Don Balon claim that Costa is aware of Chelsea’s plans and sees himself as the ideal player to replace Benzema, who is rumoured with a summer move to the Premier League. Costa has managed 18 goals and five assists in 30 appearances this season and will be a quality addition to Zinedine Zidane’s squad next season.
Real Madrid open talks with Dani Ceballos
According to reports from Don Balon, Real Madrid are set to hold discussions with the agent of Spanish under-21 star, Dani Ceballos next week ahead of a potential summer move. Ceballos has progressed through the ranks at Real Betis this season and has made 22 appearances for the club.
Los Blancos have long been admirers of the youngster and had even agreed a fee of €7 million two seasons ago before Betis raised their asking price to €10 million leading to the deal being cancelled. Don Balon are also speculating about Atletico Madrid’s interest in the player, which could force Real to speed up their negotiations.
Ballague rules Arsenal out of Isco chase
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has confirmed that Arsenal are not in the race to sign Isco next season. Answering some of the questions on his social media Q&A session, Balague put an end to Isco’s rumoured move to the Emirates saying, "My understanding is that Arsenal do not want Isco. They didn’t want him before and they don’t want him now."
That now leaves Tottenham and Manchester United as the front runners for Isco’s signature with Pep Guardiola keeping a close eye on the Spanish playmaker’s situation as well.
Zidane to axe Coentrao in the summer
In case you forgot, Fabio Coentrao is still contracted to Real Madrid, however, the chances of the Portuguese left-back staying at the club are very slim, according to reports from Marca. Marca claim that manager Zinedine Zidane is keen to offload the dead wood in his squad and Coentrao leads that list.
Coentrao is contracted to Madrid until 2019, so the La Liga giants will be hoping another club are keen on taking him at the end of the season. The 29-year-old has made just four appearances for the club this season and according to Fichajes, his manager Jorge Mendes is already looking to seal a summer move for his client.