Sunday, February 5, 2023

Three Players Real Madrid Should Target To Replace The Outgoing Portuguese Stalwart

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Anirban Sarkar
Anirban Sarkar is a former columnist of The 4th Official. A huge East Bengal fan and has travelled over 1000 miles to see his team in action.

It is going to be a very difficult task for Real Madrid as their long dependence on defender Pepe is about to end. The Portuguese international has announced he is going to leave the club after a very successful ten years association with the club.

The 34-year old’s contract is due to expire officially at the end of this month and Real Madrid have not offered him a new deal to extend his stay. However, there won’t be any dearth of suitors for him as the player has hinted that he has already got a number of offers from English clubs.

The veteran defender started only 13 games in the La Liga as he had an injury ravaged season after breaking his rib towards the last session of the last campaign.

Here are some names who could be the potential replacements for the Madrid defender:

Leonardo Bonucci

The Italian has been a pivotal part of the Juventus backline for the last few seasons. The 30-year-old signed a new contract with the Italian club but might be open to a move in the near future.

Real Madrid have been a huge admirer of the player and might even try in future to bring the player to Santiago Bernabeu. The Italian has been a pillar of strength for his national team too as alongside Giorgio Chiellini, he has formed one of the most solid defensive partnership in the world.

Chiellini has an acute positioning sense, can pass the ball with sheer precision and has a very good aerial ability to deal with the tall attackers.

Aymeric Laporte

One of the most accomplished defenders in the La Liga for the last few years. The 23-year-old has proved his mettle time and again and has been an influential part of the Athletic Bilbao starting lineup since his induction to the team back in 2013.

Despite winning the Champions League and La Liga last season, Zidane is looking for some defensive reinforcements. Pepe, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos had some long injury spells last season and  Zidane wants to bring at least one defender as a preparation for the upcoming season.

Nicolas Otamendi

A surprise candidate for a few. The Manchester City defender had a very inconsistent season but Pep Guardiola is unlikely to let him leave. With John Stones disappointing last campaign, Pep would try to hold on to him at any cost.

Otamendi played for Valencia in the La Liga and would be a valuable addition to the club as he knows the playing style in the La Liga well. A majestic presence in the back line, Otamendi would be a gamble that Zidane might love to take.

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