Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has struggled to find a way to rest key man Casemiro this season due to the lack of options in defensive midfield.
The Brazilian is a hugely important player for Los Blancos, but he is currently being overworked. He has failed to start just the four games in all competitions in 2019/20, while he’s also only not completed the full 90 minutes in just three La Liga games this campaign.
This isn’t to say Zidane hasn’t attempted to rectify this problem, because he has. The likes of Fede Valverde and Toni Kroos have dropped in on occasion, but they aren’t specialists in this area and struggled to really impose themselves on games from that position.
As a result, this is an area that needs investing in when the transfer window opens, so we at 90min take a look at five players Real should and could realistically sign…
The Frenchman has been forced to play out of position (a little further up the field) in more recent times when fit, but yet he continues to operate at the highest level. Simply put, Kante is the most effective ball-winner in the world, the diminutive midfielder’s awareness and understanding of the game allows him to nip in and snatch the ball off his opponent in the blink of an eye.
A source has confirmed to 90min that Chelsea
The addition of Eduardo Camavinga could make a lot of sense on numerous fronts. The 17-year-old Rennes midfielder is widely regarded as one of the brightest young talents in world football, and has cemented his place at the base of the Ligue 1 outfit’s midfield.
Camavinga may be young, but he plays with a maturity beyond his years. As a result, he is more than capable of stepping up and providing the necessary cover, allowing Casemiro to gain some valuable rest at points over the next couple of seasons. However, he has all the necessary attributes to be the Brazilian’s long-term successor – and it is thought that Real hold a similar view.
Of course, the youngster has time on his side and he can only benefit from working with the likes of Casemiro on a regular basis. Camavinga is a special talent, there’s no doubting that, and the fact that he can also operate slightly further up the field will make him even more appealing to Zidane.
Potential Price: £45m-53m
Continuing along similar lines, Brescia youngster Sandro Tonali has also attracted plenty of attention as a result of his fine displays. The Italian started 23 of his side’s 26 league games before football was suspended, picking up five assists in this time.
He’s been so good that Brescia’s club president Massimo Cellino placed a €300m (£260m) price tag on his head back in October of 2019. Don’t worry though Real fans, it may not take quite that much to land him.
The player’s valuation could be impacted
Sure, he may end up costing a fair bit, but Tonali is destined for the top. Go and get him Real.
Potential Price: £44m-£65m
A more experienced option is Marcelo Brozovic, who has transformed into one of the best defensive midfielders in Serie A, and indeed Europe.
The Croatian has been an integral member of Antonio Conte’s Inter team, playing the full 90 minutes in all but five of his side’s league games in 2019/20. The 27-year-old has been key to breaking up play and shielding his defenders, while also thinking positively on the ball – his tally of five assists this season backs that up.
Brozovic’s current contract is due to expire in the summer of 2022 and while Inter are keen to tie him down to a new deal, Zidane’s interest in him has complicated matters. With Brozovic playing such a key role this season for Inter, there is no reason why he wouldn’t be able to force his way into Los Blancos’ starting xi alongside Casemiro. His versatility and leadership qualities also make him a very suitable target.
He does have a
Potential Price: £35m-51.5m
Another young talent. But another one Real Madrid should consider.
Potentially the cheapest option on this list, Boubakary Soumare would be an excellent addition. Standing at 6’2, he’s got the muscle to back up his height and physicality. Despite this, Soumare has the speed and agility to make him an effective player in all areas of the game.
The 21-year-old’s game isn’t perfect and needs to work on knowing when to tackle – but there aren’t many better at this than Casemiro, so Soumare would undoubtedly learn a lot. The youngster would provide valuable squad depth, and Florentino Perez is said to be a fan.
Potential Price: £32m-40m