REAL MADRID

Real Madrid eyeing David Carmo to replace Sergio Ramos

Real Madrid are determined to cover their bases as Sergio Ramos' contract dispute rumbles on and are keeping an eye on Braga defender David Carmo.

Real Madrid eyeing David Carmo to replace Sergio Ramos
S. BRAGA

Real Madrid are continuing to lay contingency plans for the possible departure of club captain Sergio Ramos at the end of the season, with the 34-year-old locked in an ongoing contract dispute with the Bernabéu board. Madrid have always kept a close an eye on the Portuguese league and have often done business in the defensive department with the likes of Éder Militão, Pepe and Fabio Coentrão all moving from Primeira to LaLiga.

Now, AS understands that the Bernabéu scouts have been monitoring 21-year-old Braga defender David Carmo. The towering central defender was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool in January as a stand-in for Virgil van Dijk, but sources involved in that negotiation have confirmed to AS that €5m separated the two parties: Braga wanted a loan fee of €4m with a compulsory purchase option to be triggered this summer for €25m. Liverpool were only willing to offer €20m.

That has left Carmo up for grabs and the Portugal youth international is likely to generate a lot of interest this summer. Roma made Braga an offer of €18m last summer but amid talk of Manchester United and other big spenders keeping tabs on Carmo, the Portuguese club decided to bide their time. The defender is under contract until 2025 and has a release clause of €40m.

Real Madrid at the front of the queue for Carmo

However, fortune has not smiled on the 21-year-old in recent weeks. After narrowly missing out on a move to the Premier League champions, Carmo suffered a broken leg in the Taça de Portugal semifinal against Porto and faces three months on the sidelines. That will not dampen a bidding war for the youngster and Madrid remain keen on a player who has chalked up 30 league appearances and has Europa League experience this season under his belt. He had also been tipped to be handed a first senior cap ahead of the Euros.

Madrid are confident that if Braga are willing to do business the friendship between Florentino Pérez and Antonio Salvador will place the Liga giants at the front of the queue. Madrid are rarely short of loan options to offer as part of any deal and a few years ago had reached an agreement for youth teamer Sarabia to move to Braga before the player opted to join Getafe instead.