Real Madrid are preparing to part with €300m (£267m) in a bid to ensure new coach Julen Lopetegui has the tools to banish the blues left behind by Zinedine Zidane’s shock resignation at the end of last season and the sale to Juventus of Cristiano Ronaldo.
According to Goal.com Real president Florentino Perez has promised fans there will be some “magnificent players” arriving at the Bernabeu in the coming weeks, and top of his wishlist are the Chelsea pair of Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois.
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Pjanic and Bonucci on the way
Goal, citing a report in Spanish outlet Don Balon, says the duo are “long-term targets” of Perez, who earlier this week officially unveiled Spain right-back Alvaro Odriozola as the first signing of the new era. Odriozola arrived from Real Sociedad for a fee of around €35m, but he’ll be joined in the dressing room soon by a host of new faces if Perez gets his way. As well as Hazard and Courtois, Real also have their eyes on Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic and Milan centre-back Leonardo Bonucci.
The Daily Mirror claims that Courtois has “reportedly agreed a move” to the European champions, one which will see Real hand over around £35m for the Belgian keeper. The deal, if it comes to pass says the Mirror, “would make him the highest paid keeper in the world with £250,000-a-week offered for his signature”.
But talkSPORT disputes that claim and reports that new Chelsea gaffer Maurizio Sarri will try his utmost to persuade the pair to remain loyal to the club. Asked by reporters if he had any contact with Hazard and Courtois, Sarri replied: “The players you are referring to are very high level players and I would like to keep them in my squad. But a telephone call without looking them in the eye will not give me any certainty. I want to meet them face to face, understand what the best thing is to do for everyone.”
Neymar a no-no
One player who will not, apparently, be arriving at the Bernabeu any time soon is Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar. The Brazilian, who moved to PSG last summer in a world record deal, is reportedly unsettled in Paris and open to the idea of a return to La Liga.
However, he moved to quash speculation at a charity auction in Sao Paulo, reports Fox Sports. “I’m staying, I’m staying in Paris, I have a contract,” he told reporters.
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