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Who could Real Madrid sign next after losing out on Kylian Mbappé?

Sadio Mané, Darwin Núñez, Robert Lewandowski and Rafael Leão are some of the names who could be available this summer.

Update:
Who could Real Madrid sign next after losing out on Kylian Mbappé?

Real Madrid can now begin their search for another top forward having lost out on Kylian Mbappé. Sadio Mané, Darwin Núñez, Lewandowski and Rafael Leão are some of the names who could be available for the club’s striking department.

For the moment, Madrid are not in desperate need of a forward. Mbappé was expected to join but the club are happy to trust Vinicius and Rodrygo going forward and turn them into world stars sooner rather than later.

Madrid have firepower in their front line with both Karim Benzema and Vinicius recording excellent numbers this season, but the Champions League final result in Paris could also have a significant influence on whether or not the club go to the market in search of a big name.

As well as cheaper options like Raúl de Tomás and Borja Mayoral, some of Europe’s elite are finishing their contracts at their respective clubs. From Sadio Mané and Mo Salah to Darwin Núñez who Madrid like, and Robert Lewandowski, who will likely leave Bayern Munich. Rafael Leão has just won Serie A with AC Milan and is attracting interest after an impressive season.

Mané and Salah

Sadio Mané was wanted by Zidane Zidane in December 2020 and in an interview with AS, spoke about Los Blancos. “Signing for Madrid? Who knows”. Mané and Salah have beneficial contractual situations to negotiate a transfer away from Anfield. Both the Senegalese forward and the Egyptian are out of contract with Liverpool in 2023, although their negotiations with the Anfield club are going in different directions.

Mané has been informed, according to reports in England, that he has to wait until the end of the season to enter into definitive talks. Salah could still extend his deal until 2027. There are two elements that complicate a possible Madrid move. The first is their age. Mané is 30 years old and Salah will be 30 next month. The second issue is that Liverpool are not selling. Only a shock in the final in Paris and the excellent Luis Diaz (25) in their position, could alter that scenario.

Lewandowski: keen to leave Bayern

The Polish striker’s time at Bayern is almost over and although he is linked with a move to Barcelona, since 2019, Madrid has been his dream, as previously reported by AS. This was confirmed a week ago by Bayern president Herbert Hainer when speaking in Germany about the rumours over his future. “We already had the case in 2019 when Robert was linked with Real Madrid, Bayern are familiar with this situation,” he said.

The Bundesliga club are determined not to sell and are threatening to keep him even if he leaves on a free in 2023. Lewandowski has scored 40 goals or more in the last six seasons (55, 48 and 50 in his last three). Since December, when he began to plot his exit, Lewandowski has asked his agent to prioritise Madrid if an offer came in.

Darwin Núñez: Benfica’s highly sought-after forward

The Uruguayan striker has become one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe. The former Peñarol and Almería player turns 23 next month. He has made a considerable leap at Benfica this season, scoring 34 goals (six in the Champions League, 26 in the league and two more in the league cup) in 41 games.

Núñez is a player that Real Madrid’s decision-makers like, and Benfica, a club that traditionally sells and is on good terms with Madrid, believe that this summer is the time to cash in. The Premier League looks like his likely destination, although as reported last Friday by the Daily Mirror, he has rejected an initial offer from Manchester United.

Darwin Núñez celebrates scoring for Benfica
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Darwin Núñez celebrates scoring for BenficaRODRIGO ANTUNESREUTERS

Rafael Leão: A future option

At 22, he could be ready to light up the World Cup with Portugal after becoming AC Milan’s star player this year and the Rossoneri are receiving interest from other big clubs. La Gazzetta dello Sport reported earlier this week that both PSG and Manchester United had begun sounding out the player, with Milan willing to give the green light to a sale for €100m.

Madrid have the advantage that his agent is Jorge Mendes, who has worked closely with the club in the past with other Portuguese players and coaches he has represented, including Cristiano Ronaldo, José Mourinho and Pepe.

AC Milan's Rafael Leão celebrates their third goal scored by Franck Kessié on Sunday
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AC Milan's Rafael Leão celebrates their third goal scored by Franck Kessié on SundayDANIELE MASCOLOREUTERS
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