REAL MADRID

Real Madrid want another Casemiro: Camavinga, Soumaré, Kante

Zidane wants to give Casemiro some rest given the amount of minutes he plays and three names are under considerations as the Brazilian's replacement.

Real Madrid want another Casemiro: Camavinga, Soumaré, Kante
Vincent Michel Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane has been racking his brain for some time over one idea: finding a natural replacement for Casemiro. For the French coach, his Brazilian midfielder is non-negotiable and Madrid's solution to being sliced up through the middle. Zidane put his faith in Casemiro in February 2016 after losing is his first Madrid derby (0-1) at the Bernabéu and he hasn't looked back. That's why he needs a player of his profile to fill in when necessary. Eduardo Camavinga is seen as the solution to this problem but N'Golo Kanté (29, Chelsea) and Boubakary Soumaré (21, Lille) are also being considered...

Zidane has tried various alternatives without much success. Fede Valverde and Paul Pogba, if he comes to Real Madrid, are seen as close to Casemiro in profile but not an exact match. Marcos Llorente was not considered despite looking like the ideal candidate and Kroos distanced himself from a potential change in position two years ago. "I am not a Casemiro," he said.

'Case' the most used player at Real Madrid

Casemiro has been indispensable this season and is the most used player by Zidane (3,120 minutes). He is in first place ahead of Ramos (3,033). Since that derby in 2016, this has been a trend because after that day, the Brazilian has been the fourth most used player at Madrid behind Cristiano, Keylor and Ramos. In 2017-18, Zidane's last full season, Casemiro played the most minutes in the squad (3,945 minutes). In 2016-17, he was the 8th most used player (3,313) but that was because he missed 13 games through injury.

Casemiro wants to play too. Asked in October about playing 96% of minutes, he was clear and precise: "I want to play all the time and even more..." Zidane, however, wants to give Casemiro some help and give him rest when possible. That's where Camavinga, Soumaré and Kante come in... They're looking for a clone for Casemiro.

The options Real Madrid are looking at...

CAMAVINGA. The best fit and Zidane's recommendation.

Zidane is trying to pull off a deal for Camavinga similat to Varane's move. That cost Madrid €10 million when he advised Florentino Pérez to sign the young central defender. Camavinga will cost a lot more - between €45 and €50 million. The player's agent, Moussad Sissoko, has not done business with Madrid before. He is also the agent of Ousmané Dembélé.

KANTÉ. Very similar and Chelsea might consider selling him.

N'Golo Kanté (29) is the midfielder who looks most like Casemiro. They play a very similar role. Kante rose to prominence at Leicester City first and then Chelsea. He is also a World Cup winner with France. Kante has 3 years left on his contract and when he renewed in 2018, he became the best paid player at Stamford Bridge. That is the biggest obstacle at the moment. Chelsea might be open to negotiating but their starting point could be €80 million. The big point in favour is that he has had success with Pogba for France and Zidane might try to pair the couple together in his Madrid midfield.

SOUMARÉ. 21, plays for Lille and Klopp loves him.

Boubakary Soumaré, en un partido con el Lille.

In the emerging generation of French talent, along with Camavinga, is Boubakary Soumaré. More similar to Pogba than Casemiro and Kante, he is a France u-16 and u-21 international. He is currently on the rise at Lille after emerging from PSG's academy. Amongst the most realistic deals, Soumaré would cost somewhere in the region of €24.5 million. The 21-year-old is starting arouse interest all around Europe and one of the most high profile managers on the case is Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool love his potential and he is one of the most likely to move soon this summer.