Real Madrid ‘pick Erling Haaland alternative’ in case Manchester City secure transfer

Pep Guardiola discusses Erling Haaland transfer rumour

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Real Madrid have identified Espanyol hitman Raul de Tomas as a potential alternative to Erling Haaland, according to reports. Los Blancos want to land a new striker when the transfer window reopens this summer. And that’s despite the stunning form of Karim Benzema, who has netted 41 goals across all competitions.

Real Madrid are eyeing a summer move for Haaland, who has been in stunning form for Borussia Dortmund ever since his move to Germany from Red Bull Salzburg back in January 2020.

But Manchester City are also keen and Pep Guardiola’s team are considered to be frontrunners in the race to land the Norway international at the current moment in time.

With that being the case, Spanish newspaper AS say Real have now identified De Tomas as a potential alternative.

The 27-year-old previously came through the club’s academy, impressing at youth level before leaving the Bernabeu for Benfica in 2019.

Since then, however, he’s become one of La Liga’s deadliest strikers.

He’s been a huge hit at Espanyol, scoring 43 domestic goals for the team from 85 appearances.

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Arsenal were eyeing the Spain international back in January amid Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s desire to leave but, in the end, missed out.

Real may now try and land De Tomas as they look to bolster their attacking options under Carlo Ancelotti.

Yet much will depend on what happens with Haaland and how that transfer saga plays out.

Kylian Mbappe remains Los Blancos’ priority transfer target, however, with the PSG star’s future up in the air.

The France international’s contract at the Parc des Princes is due to expire in the summer and, at the current moment in time, he’s not penned a renewal.

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino has insisted the former Monaco star will stay put and pen an extension.

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But that’s yet to happen and it’s possible Mbappe will leave for Real for nothing, having previously snubbed the club twice before.

Haaland is seen as a good opportunity due to the fact he’ll be available for a fee in the region of £66million due to a clause in his contract.

Yet City are in pole position to land the Norway international as they plan for an even better future.

Real, for their part, are planning on offloading two strikers.

One is Mariano Diaz, who has been a peripheral figure at the club ever since returning from Lyon in 2018.

And Luka Jovic will also be shown the door, having failed to live up to expectations ever since his arrival from Frankfurt three years ago.

Meanwhile, Real and City will meet again in the Champions League next week.

The teams played out a seven-goal thriller on Tuesday night, with Guardiola’s team winning 4-3.

They’re now on the cusp of making the final of the competition for the second year in a row.

But Rivaldo, speaking to Betfair, thinks Madrid will be confident of getting to the final themselves after digging in deep at the Etihad.

“A lot of people considered this clash one of the best ever in the Champions League and I agree with that since it was a truly fantastic match,” he said.

“But when I go back in time, that epic Tottenham comeback against Ajax comes through my mind, with a frantic second half that allowed them to score three goals and qualify to the final.

“Lucas Moura made history that day and I really vibrated with his fantastic achievement for the club, so, that was another remarkable night just like the one we’ve seen this week.

“Of we have a look into the match, we can say Man City were stronger in terms of possession, control, goal opportunities and could have won it by a bigger margin, but Real Madrid is a team that can never be discounted.

“I played them many times and know what I’m talking about, and they are also a 13-times Champions League winners facing a team that has never won it, so, it’s normal that the Spanish club have that bigger experience that allows them to survive in tough circumstances.

“Now, I expect Real Madrid to be confident about qualifying to the final at the Bernabeu in front of their fans, so I imagine that Man City will have difficulties despite being favourite to go through.”

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