Real Madrid have turned their attention towards Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes, as they fear being priced out of a move for primary transfer target Dayot Upamecano.
According to a report from Spanish publication AS, Real Madrid have identified Lille’s Brazilian centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes as an alternative for RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano ahead of the summer transfer window.
Real Madrid are in the market for a new centre-back, with last summer’s signing Eder Militao failing to make the necessary impact since his arrival. Furthermore, club captain and legend Sergio Ramos is entering the final phase of his career, having turned 34 years old in March and will need to be replaced in due time.
To that end, Los Blancos had identified RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano as a top target heading into the transfer window. The 21-year-old has grown into one of the most coveted young defenders in Europe, after a series of stunning displays at the heart of the German side’s defence.
However, Upamecano has a release clause of €60 million and although Leipzig are willing to lower their valuation to €40 million, a transfer would be complicated due to the financial crisis set in because of the coronavirus. The Frenchman’s agent himself hinted that a move from Germany might not be on the cards this summer.
Hence, Real Madrid have begun to chalk out a Plan B in case they are unable to get their hands on Upamecano, with Lille’s Gabriel Magalhaes emerging as a potential alternative. The Brazilian joined the French outfit in 2017 from Brazil club Avai.
After a couple of loan spells away at Troyes and Dinamo Zagreb II, he has grown into a first-team regular this season. In the 2019-20 campaign, the 22-year-old made 34 appearances in all competitions, missing just four of their 28 Ligue 1 outings, helping Lille finish fourth in the curtailed campaign. He has chipped in with a solitary goal as well.
Real Madrid’s chief Juni Calafat sees the Brazilian as an ideal alternative for Upamecano as per the report. In addition, the fact that he is left-footed is seen as an advantage by Real Madrid, as he would complement Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos, both of whom are right-footed defenders.
Valued at €20 million by Lille, Gabriel is also a transfer target for Premier League clubs Everton and Chelsea. It was reported a few weeks ago that Frank Lampard’s side are on the verge of signing the 22-year-old, but the deal is not over the line yet according to AS, allowing Real Madrid room to swoop in for the Brazilian.
Gabriel signed a new contract with Lille in February earlier this year, extending his stay at the club till 2023. However, the French outfit could be forced to sell him due to the negative impact on finances because of Covid-19. It now remains to be seen if Real Madrid make a move for the Brazilian.