The central room is a priority

Badiashile joins a list of young defenders followed by Real Madrid, including Upamecano (RB Leipzig) and Gabriel (Lille).


Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane are a guarantee at the back of Real Madrid. Its safety and reliability bring a lot of peace of mind to the team. And injuries respect them. But its demarcation, that of central defense, is one of the vulnerabilities that the white team can present in the medium term. As a replacement they have Nacho, this year punished by injuries, and a Militao who, despite his great performances in the final stretch of the League, has yet to demonstrate his consistency. The two also must cover the possible absences of Carvajal on the right flank, so having a 'full-time' central room is necessary in the medium term.

The defenders who are under Madrid's radar to reinforce the center of the rear have a common characteristic: young, but already contrasted at the highest level. Youth is a trait that, due to market inflation, has made future betting a key element in the club's recruitment policy. With that profile last summer Rodrygo (18 years old then), Jovic (21) or Militao (21) came to the first team. In keeping with these premises, to the recent interest of Monaco player Benoit Badiashile, other names such as Upamecano or Gabriel have appeared in recent months.

Dayot Upamecano (21 years old) is among Zidane's preferences. The coach's compatriot, the central defender ended his contract with RB Leipzig in 2021. His renewal, announced this Friday, complicates Madrid's access to his signing in the short term, since he has prolonged his contract by two years, until 2023 and that detracts from Leipzig urgency to look for profitability to an exit. Leipzig paid their Salzburg 'brothers' € 10 million for him in January 2017 and now his value is valued by Transfermarkt at € 45m. Its clause, before the renewal of 60 million. A scenario with the horizon in a contract expiration in 2021 would have made his transfer cheaper.

Upamecano is international with France in all the lower categories and in 2015 he won the U-17 European Championship with Les Bleuets. Despite being right-handed, he usually acts for the left-handed profile, although he has worked in various positions in the center of the rear in Nagelsmann's versatile drawing. He has an in-depth vision of the game. He is one of seven Bundesliga defenders who have averaged more than ten passes per game directed to the last third of the field and the third defender in the German league with the highest percentage of success in defensive duels (76.6%). Bayern have also tried to tempt him by offering him more options to be a regular starter, since in Madrid he would play a role of third center back behind the indisputable Sergio Ramos and Varane.

More affordable than Upamecano, but with a lesser sign appears the Brazilian Gabriel (22 years old), from Lille. Its market value is just 17.5 million euros and Lille paid at the time (January 2017) 3 million euros to the Brazilian Avaí. He is a fundamental pillar of the Northern France team, which in recent years has had no qualms about getting rid of its figures (last season it raised 143 million euros with the sale of five starting players). He is left-handed and his height (he measures 1.90) gives him leadership in the air balls. He has been called up with the Brazilian Olympic team, but has not made his debut (he did with the U-20). The excess of non-community members in Madrid (awaiting the nationalization of Vinicius) is a handicap that right now makes him lose options.

Southampton went ahead in the race for Salisu

One of the names on the Madrid agenda was Salisu, but the Ghanaian already has a destination. He will play in the Premier League after Southampton goes to pay Real Valladolid the 12 million euros of his termination clause. A very affordable 'rescue' for a footballer who had attracted the interest of several teams in Europe after standing out in the season of his debut in First with the blanquivioleta shirt.

Clubs like Atlético, Manchester United, Juventus or Rennes also wanted the 21-year-old player and the good relations that Madrid maintains with the entity that Ronaldo presides over could have played in favor of those from Chamartín if an auction for its services. The gap left by Salisu in Sergio's rearguard will be filled precisely by a Madrid squad: Javi Sánchez has set course for Pucela, leaving 3 million euros in the white coffers for 50 percent of his rights.

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