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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Serie A eyeing James, Kovacic, Ceballos, Nacho

Real Madrid: Serie A eyeing James, Kovacic, Ceballos, Nacho

A newly introduced tax break for footballers means Serie A can easily take on the wages of the several players Real Madrid want to shift this summer.

Serie A is set to benefit from the introduction of a new tax law – an Italian version of the “Beckham law” that gave LaLiga an edge in the early 2000s – leading to an anticipated spike in transfer activity that may directly benefit Real Madrid.

Last summer Juventus made a statement by signing Cristiano Ronaldo from the Bernabéu in a deal that was far more beneficial for the Serie A champions than for Madrid, who pocketed just over 100 million euros for the serial Champions League winner and top scorer in the competition for five consecutive seasons between 2012-13 and 2017-18.

However, the Bernabéu board are hopeful that Italy will come to the rescue as they seek this summer to shift the deadwood from Zinedine Zidane’s squad - and there is plenty of it to shift. Whether the case is a lack of relationship between player and manager, as with James Rodríguez, a lack of faith in the player in the question – Dani Ceballos – or the simple need to make room for one of the five players Real have brought in this summer – raise a hand, Nacho – Madrid are looking to sell up to 12 players and will hope Italy provides the answer.

Marcos Llorente was attracting interest from Inter but instead made the shorter move across town to Atlético but there is firm interest from Serie A in at least five Madrid players, chiefly James, Real’s prodigal son and a massive wage the Bernabéu would very much like to dispense with. Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti is a firm admirer and has asked the San Paolo board to do whatever it takes to land the Colombia midfielder, with a deal looking more likely than not as last season’s runners-up look at ways to close the gap to Juventus.

Serie A interest in James, Theo, Ceballos, Nacho and Kovacic

The Old Lady have also reportedly taken an interest in Theo Hernández, which will be Mozart caressing the ears of Florentino Pérez as precious few other clubs have, while the full backs fellow surplus to requirements teammates Ceballos and Nacho could be bound for Milan, the former at AC Milan and the latter, who at this stage of his career can be forgiven for wanting a more regular starting role, bound for Inter.

Inter could also take their former midfielder Mateo Kovacic off Real’s hands with Chelsea apparently having cooled on the idea of making his loan permanent as they seek a new manager to replace Maurizio Sarri.

Italy’s new tax regulations state that anybody who has not lived in the country over the last two years (regardless of nationality) and who will be paying tax in Italy for at least two years after arriving is only required to pay 30 percent on their earnings, giving clubs an important selling point for incoming players and reducing the financial burden of signings.