Real Madrid are reportedly interested in Andrea Belotti, with president Florentino Perez holding talks with his Torino counterpart Urbano Cairo.
According to Tuttosport, Torino president Urbano Cairo has revealed that he held talks with Florentino Perez, whose interest in Andrea Belotti was piqued when he learnt the value of his release clause. Spanish publication Sport have also reported that Los Blancos are now weighing up a move for the player.
“I was having dinner with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and we were talking about contracts of players with enormous release clauses. I mentioned Belotti and he didn’t know him. But as soon as he heard his clause, his antennas were raised. If the clause had only been €20m, he wouldn’t have been interested.”
Belotti shot into limelight last season, when he was one of the most prolific strikers in Europe, while falling just short of becoming the Capocannoniere in Serie A. In what was only his third campaign in the Italian top flight, and his second with Torino, Belotti bagged 26 goals and 8 assists in 35 league outings.
Andrea Belotti was the only player in Serie A last season to score 5+ goals with his head, right and left foot.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 16, 2017
While he has struggled to match the highs of the 2016-17 thus far in the current campaign, a return of 5 goals and 2 assists in 10 appearances isn’t too shabby either. Indeed, Belotti remains a popular figure in the transfer market, with last season’s exploits attracting interest from the best of clubs in Europe.
While his €100 million release clause has warded off several suitors, Real Madrid’s interest has only been stirred further following the talks between Florentino Perez and Urbano Cairo. The report by Sport suggests that Perez is drawing up a shortlist to sign a new striker next summer, and Belotti is one of the names on it.
Karim Benzema’s struggles in front of goal since the 2016-17 season have been well documented, and things have only gone from bad to worse this term. The Frenchman has only managed to find the back of the net twice in 12 appearances so far this season, and widespread reports have suggested that his time at Real Madrid is coming to an end.
Add to that, the inexplicable struggles of Cristiano Ronaldo and the seemingly perennial injury woes of Gareth Bale, and Los Blancos have been severely short of goals this campaign. Belotti is, thus, a viable target for Zinedine Zidane, who could have a long-term solution in attack in the Italian striker.
It now remains to be seen if Real Madrid are prepared to shell out his €100 million release clause. What seems to be certain though, is that a new striker is set to be signed next summer, be it Belotti or Harry Kane, who is another name that has reportedly been regularly discussed at the Bernabeu.