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Reports: Real Madrid close to confirming the transfer of Lazio striker Keita Balde

The 21-year-old is one of Serie A's hottest striking prospects.

Keita Blade is a Real Madrid player in the making?

Reports have emerged this morning that link Lazio striker Keita Balde with Spanish giants, Real Madrid. The UEFA Champions League champions have been on the lookout for a striker for a while now and seem to have identified the 21-year-old Senegalese international as a viable option with the report even claiming that he's close to signing a five-year deal with the club.

Balde is one of the Serie A's rising stars contributing significantly well to Lazio's season in which they finish eight behind all of Italy's big guns. The striker was linked with multiple English clubs in the January transfer window earlier this year with plenty of the Premier League's top clubs showing a lot of interest. 

Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City were all interested in signing the 21-year-old but he chose to stay in Lazio for the rest of the season. Now with Real Madrid linked, it's probable that he'll be willing to consider the move. 

Real Madrid have been linked with multiple forwards this past couple of months. Alvaro Morata, Mauro Icardi, and Robert Lewandowski have all been linked with the club with both Florentino Perez and manager, Zinedine Zidane, all but confirming that they're interesting in signing a top striker this summer. 

While Keita wouldn't fit in the 'world class' section of strikers currently playing, his speed, dribbling ability and confidence when on the ball is a boon. He's able to take on defenders with ease and could cause a lot of problems when in front of goal. His finishing isn't the best yet having scored only five goals in the forty appearances he made this season. 

However, with Real Madrid keen to add some much-needed pace into their sides, Keita would be a valuable addition. Premier League clubs and a host of other giants including Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be interested in signing him now. 

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