Barcelona will open talks with Manchester United and Real Madrid target Andrea Belotti this week, according to reports
According to Don Balon, the Catalans’ representatives will open talks with the Torino striker on Wednesday over a potential summer move to the Camp Nou. They claim that Belotti himself is aware of the interest and has rejected two proposals from unnamed Premier League clubs in order to talk to Barcelona.
Don Balon state that the Catalans see Belotti as the Italian Andriy Shevchenko and that his arrival will hasten the exit of summer signing Paco Alcacer, who has failed to break into the first team this season.
Belotti has been in brilliant form this season after quickly gaining attention during Italy’s Euro 2016 campaign. The Italian international has picked up 24 goals and 4 assists in just 28 appearances across all competitions for Torino.
A quick, techincally gifted player with superb finishing ability, Belotti’s form saw him sign a new contract with Torino in December that ties him down to the club until 2021, with a €100m release clause – something the Torino president recently said he wanted to increase to €150m.
Despite the huge amount that clubs would have to pay for Belotti, it has not stopped rumours from circulating, given his form. Manchester United have been heavily linked with a potential move for the striker in the summer as Jose Mourinho looks to add some of the best talent around the world to their squad.
United would have no issues paying Belotti’s release clause and given that Wayne Rooney is set to leave at the end of the season and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will probably only stay for one more, they are looking for long-term replacements and at 23 years of age Belotti represents exactly that.
Real Madrid have also been linked with a move for the striker, Zinedine Zidane said to be a huge admirer. Karim Benzema isn’t exactly the crowd favourite at Santiago Bernabeu right now and has been booed regularly by home fans during matches.
This has led to reports that the Frenchman could finally leave Real at the end of the season and with Alvaro Morata failing to convince Zidane of his first team credentials, it is no surprise that Real are on the lookout for another striker.
However, if Don Balon are to be believed, Belotti would favour a move to Barcelona over any of those clubs and the Catalans are favourites to land him. One way or another, there is sure to be a big tug of war over Belotti’s future at the end of the season.