Real Madrid are reportedly hoping to beat European champions Liverpool to the signing of Ajax sensation David Neres in the summer window.
According to a report from Spanish publication Don Balon, Real Madrid are set to battle it out with Premier League heavyweights and reigning European champions Liverpool for the signing of Brazilian international David Neres from Ajax.
Neres, 22, came through the youth ranks at Sao Paulo in Brazil and moved to Ajax in the summer of 2017 in a deal worth €12 million. During his time with the Dutch giants, the Brazilian has racked up 99 appearances, scoring 29 goals and setting up 32 more, establishing himself as a key member of the side.
The 2018-19 campaign saw him bag 12 goals and 15 assists, helping Ajax to a domestic double and a semi-final run in the UEFA Champions League, where they were beaten by Tottenham Hotspur. Neres’ exploits since moving to Europe two years ago has seen him gather a lot of admirers, with Liverpool being linked with him in recent months.
Liverpool enjoyed a spectacular 2018-19 season, lifting the Champions League trophy, while narrowly missing out on the Premier League title. Jurgen Klopp has one of the most fearsome attacking trios at his disposal in Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, who have been slaying defences for the last two seasons.
However, Liverpool do lack quality backup for the terrific trio, with Xherdan Shaqiri not quite impressing in his debut season, while Daniel Sturridge has left the club upon the expiry of his contract. This has led to the Reds entering the market for a new attacking addition with Neres emerging as a potential target.
But, Liverpool will now have to face competition from Real Madrid who have joined the hunt for the Brazilian international. Los Blancos have made three additions to their attack already ahead of the next term, with Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Rodrygo joining up with the club.
However, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is looking to provide manager Zinedine Zidane with another star addition to the attacking line-up that misfired last season. While Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were at the top of the club’s shortlist, Perez has decided to splash the cash on Neres instead, as he regards him as a potential future Ballon d’Or winner.
To that end, Real Madrid are prepared to make an offer of €45 million to lure Neres from Ajax, which would trump Liverpool’s €35 million offer for the 22-year-old attacker as per the report. Along with Real Madrid and Liverpool, Atletico Madrid are also believed to be interested in Neres and are willing to offer €38 million to sign him.
Neres is contracted with Ajax till 2022, having signed an extension in September last year. The club’s sporting director Marc Overmars claimed that the forward is not for sale, but with as many as three top European clubs lining up for his signing, the 22-year-old could have his head turned. It remains to be seen if Neres ends up joining either of Real Madrid or Liverpool ahead of the next term.