Reports: Real Madrid identify 3 candidates to replace Cristiano Ronaldo
What's the story?
Real Madrid have prepared a 3-man shortlist to replace Cristiano Ronaldo in the future, according to a report in British news outlet, The Daily Mirror. Florentino Perez has reportedly grown tired of Ronaldo's increasing wage demands despite his age, and has begun the process of identifying the Portuguese superstar's replacement. However, instead of purchasing ready-made superstars like Paulo Dybala, Real Madrid see fit to buy a youngster who they can mould into a superstar. As such, Los Blancos have identified PSG's Goncalo Guedes who is on loan at Valencia, while Brazilian starlets Lincoln of Gremio and Alan Souza of Palmeiras are also being scouted to eventually succeed Cristiano Ronaldo.
In case you didn't know...
Goncalo Guedes came through the ranks at Benfica, where the youngster was already labelled the 'next Ronaldo'. PSG signed him in January, 2017 for €30 million, before loaning him out to Valencia this season, where he has shined. Guedes has already played with Ronaldo for the senior Portuguese national team. Lincoln and Alan have already made senior appearances for their respective clubs, but their performances for the U-17 Brazil team in the FIFA U-17 World Cup has brought them to Real Madrid's attention.
The heart of the matter
Los Blancos president Florentino Perez is keen on signing a youngster with the potential to replace Ronaldo, as opposed to buying a readymade replacement who would cost upwards of €150 million in this inflated transfer market. Taking a risk on any of these three youngsters would cost significantly less, while also hedging their bets regarding Madrid's footballing future.
Real Madrid's reluctance to spend big to 'replace' Cristiano Ronaldo comes from the fact that they may already have his eventual replacement at the club. Marco Asensio may be left footed, but can play in Ronaldo's position on the left wing, and has already made his name as a Real Madrid record-holder when it comes to debut goals.
Guedes remains the best option among the trio to potentially replace Cristiano Ronaldo in the future, given his performances in La Liga so far. Real Madrid have already spent big in the Brazilian market with Vinicius Jr. but that buy still has to payoff, with Lincoln and Alan representing similar risks. Florentino Perez would probably be better off with a proven talent like Dybala, since the likelihood of any player ever reproducing Cristiano Ronaldo's output remains remote.