Real Madrid target Harry Kane or Dusan Vlahovic as Karim Benzema alternative
Los Blancos have long been linked with moves for Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé but neither is likely to be available until 2024.
Real Madrid have Karim Benzema and they want either Manchester City goal machine Erling Haaland or Paris-Saint Germain superstar Kylian Mbappé (both would probably be being greedy) as the 35-year-old’s long-term replacement. It appears incredibly unlikely that either of the two would be able to join the club until 2024, however, which means they will probably need to look elsewhere if they want to sign a striker before then.
Real Madrid’s attacking dilemma
Uruguayan attacker Álvaro Rodríguez (18) will certainly be part of Madrid’s squad for next season, as manager Carlo Ancelotti has already confirmed. An agreement is also in place for 16-year-old Brazilian prodigy Endrick to make the move to the Santiago Bernabéu, but he won’t be able to do so until 2024, when he turns 18. In any case, neither of the two is the potential starting centre-forward the club is looking for and there is an internal debate going on about what moves Los Blancos should make in the transfer market in the summer. Should they look for an Edinson Cavani-like stop-gap, as they did in the past with Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández and Ruud van Nistelrooy or go all-out for an elite-level striker? If they choose the latter, there are two names on the table: Harry Kane (29) and Dušan Vlahović (23).
Vlahovic close to Premier League move in January
Agents have alerted Real Madrid to the fact that Vlahović is a realistic option. Juventus’ financial difficulties and the sanctions the club has been handed down by the Italian sports courts have led to the Old Lady needing to sell. In the January transfer window, the Turin giants held talks over the sale of the Serbian striker to a leading Premier League club, thought to be Manchester United, as AS has learned from sources who were directly involved. The proposed transfer fee was in the range of €100-120 million but just when it appeared as if the move was all set to go through, Vlahović's agent called off the deal. Whether that was because there was the possibility of future transfer to Real Madrid isn’t clear.
Kane out of contract at Spurs in 2024
Los Blancos are also keen on the idea of going after Kane, the all-time leading goalscorer for both Tottenham Hotspur and the England national team. One possible issue, however, would be the role he would have in the squad should Haaland or Mbappé arrive the following summer. The England captain has the ability to play between the lines, like Benzema, while his goalscoring record per game over the course of his career so far is better than the Frenchman’s. Kane’s arrival would ensure continuity in terms of the way the team currently plays, which focuses on combination play between the midfield and forward lines and prioritises attacking through the middle. The striker’s Spurs contract expires in June 2024, which means there is a good chance he could be sold in the summer if he wants to leave (otherwise, he could depart for free in a year’s time). Getting Kane out of Tottenham now would be much less difficult that it would have been in the past, with The Times reporting that the London club have put a €100 million price tag on his head.
Vlahovic a more realistic option for Madrid?
Would Kane and Benzema be able to coexist? Given their respective skill sets, it would be difficult to imagine them playing alongside each other, which both tending to take up similar positions on the field. On top of that, neither or the two would be willing to play second fiddle to the other for an entire season. Signing Kane would likely require Madrid to decide take drastic action and not renew Benzema’s contract.
Vlahovic, by contrast, does appear to be the type of player who would be prepared to share the spotlight with Benzema for a season and bide his time until the Frenchman’s long spell at Real Madrid comes to its inevitable end.