Real Madrid ‘draft shortlist for new striking option to support Karim Benzema,’ two names emerge as top targets

Real Madrid 'draft shortlist for new striking option to support Karim Benzema,' two names emerge as top targets

Real Madrid are set to step up their pursuit of two transfer targets in a bid to support Los Blancos skipper Karim Benzema, according to stunning reports.

Benzema is Carlo Ancelotti’s leading talisman at Madrid and his absence from the starting XI has left the Los Blancos head coach short of striking options this season.

The 35-year-old French striker, who scooped the 2022 Ballon d’Or ahead of Sadio Mane, has been hit with multiple injuries during the current campaign.

Benzema also turns 36 in December and the Madrid captain faces mounting pressure on maintaining his form and fitness to lead the frontline on a regular basis.

According to ESPN, Madrid believe it is ‘essential’ to add another striking option to Ancelotti’s team in the summer and provide support for Benzema.

The publication reports among the Madrid shortlist are Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, who has scored nine times in 19 appearances this season.

Vlahovic arrived at the Old Lady in a £66.6m move from Fiorentina in January 2022, but the 23-year-old has struggled to hit the high expectations placed on him.

The former Fiorentina man is seen at Madrid as a ‘goalscorer with room to improve,’ with Vlahovic being a player who ‘could complement Benzema.’

The other target on Madrid’s radar is Brazil striker Richarlison, who arrived at Tottenham last summer in a £60m deal from Everton.

Ancelotti previously worked with Richarlison during his time at Everton and is believed to be an admirer of the 25-year-old Brazilian forward.

However, defending Spanish champions Madrid would face a tough test in luring Richarlison to the Spanish capital due to his transfer to Spurs in 2022.

Richarlison is under contract until 2027 and Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy could play hardball over any negotiations regarding the Brazil international.

ESPN reports that Richarlison and Vlahovic are ‘not the only players under consideration’ for Madrid in their bid to support first-choice striker Benzema.

It is believed that Los Blancos ‘expect a busy summer of transfer business’ in the hope of strengthening key areas of Ancelotti’s squad.

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