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Joselu is on Real Madrid’s radar

Real Madrid are considering their options ahead of the 2023-24 season.

CORNELLÁ DE LLOBREGAT (BARCELONA), 30/04/2023.- El delantero del Espanyol Joselu (d) celebra su gol, primero del equipo catalán ante el Getafe, durante el partido de Liga de Primera División correspondiente a la jornada 32 que disputan RCD Espanyol y Getafe CF hoy domingo en el RCDE Stadium. EFE/Alejandro García
Alejandro GarciaEFE

The season is not over, but Real Madrid are already thinking about their signings for the 2023-24 season. One position is key: that of the centre forward. Karim Benzema looks set to stay at the club, but Madrid want to strengthen the competition in the position with Mariano see to leave this summer.

Madrid are considering signing a young striker and bringing in an older striker at a lower cost who can deliver, while waiting for the summer of 2024 to arrive, when they will go for Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappé, depending on the contractual circumstances of both.

And that option for an experienced striker who has produced results in Europe, is Joselu, the 33-year-old Espanyol striker who came through the Real Madrid academy. This was reported by Relevo and confirmed by AS from sources inside the club. The striker, who made his debut with the Spanish national team in March, is having a brilliant season, with 19 goals in total between his club and the national team. But Espanyol’s relegation opens the door for him to return to the club where he developed as a player.

Joselu’s contract has a clause that means his salary in Segunda would be reduced by half and if he has an offer that equals the salary he currently receives at Espanyol, the club are obliged to sell him. His contract does not expire until 30 June 2025 and he is among the highest paid players in the Espanyol squad, with a salary of around €3m gross per season.

But Joselu is not the only option, far from it. At Real Madrid, several names and different profiles are being discussed. But there is no doubt that the contractual conditions of the Spanish striker (born in Stuttgart) are very favourable if Real Madrid end up opting for an attacker of his profile.

Two goals in 18 minutes with Madrid

Joselu joined Madrid in 2010 from Celta. He was signed by Ramón Martínez, who returned to the club with the return of Florentino Pérez. He was born in Stuttgart, where his parents emigrated from Galicia, but returned at the age of four. He shone brightly in the Madrid academy and became the first-choice centre-forward in the Castilla team that won promotion to the Second Division in the 2011-12 season. That team, with players such as Nacho, Carvajal, Morata and Jesé and coached by José Alberto Toril, was the last side that managed to take get promoted to the second tier of Spanish football.

That promotion, in which he scored no less than 26 goals, earned him a transfer to Hoffenheim in a deal worth €6m. From there he moved on to Eintracht Frankfurt, Hannover 96, Stoke City, Deportivo, Newcastle, Alavés and, finally, Espanyol. Although he has already made his mark with Real Madrid’s first team, despite the few opportunities he has had.

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Debut under Mourinho

José Mourinho was the coach who gave him his debut with the first team, in a squad that had Cristiano, Kaká, Benzema, Higuaín, Di María, Özil, etc. Despite all this, he had two opportunities: the first in the last game of the 2010-11 season against Almería at the Bernabéu, an 8-1 win in a match in which he came on in the 84th minute and scored Madrid’s eighth in the 86th minute. The following season, in the second leg of the Copa del Rey round of 32 against Ponferradina (5-1), Joselu came on in the 78th minute and scored in the 4-1 win in the 79th minute. He, therefore, has two Real Madrid goals in 18 minutes to his name and could be about to add some more next season.