Real Madrid are reportedly lining up Sporting Lisbon starlet Nuno Mendes as a potential long-term replacement for veteran star Marcelo.
According to a report from Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Sporting Lisbon wonderkid Nuno Mendes has registered on the radar of La Liga champions Real Madrid, as they look to put a succession plan in place for Marcelo.
Marcelo has been with the Merengues since 2007 and has been an integral part of the team that has scaled great heights over the past decade. However, the Brazilian’s powers have been on the wane of late, with manager Zinedine Zidane hardly using him this term.
Indeed, Marcelo has made just six appearances across all competitions for Real Madrid in the 2020/21 campaign, with Ferland Mendy being the preferred option ahead of him. The left-back will turn 33 by the time the campaign ends and with his contract running out in eighteen months, Real Madrid are drawing up plans to replace him eventually.
And, Sporting Lisbon starlet Nuno Mendes has emerged as a potential candidate for Los Blancos. A product of the Portuguese capital outfit’s academy, the teenager made his first-team debut earlier this year, becoming the second-youngest player ever to represent the club behind former Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Since then, Mendes has gone on to make 22 senior appearances, thirteen of which have come in the ongoing campaign. Primarily a left-back, the teenager has largely been used as a wing-back so far in his senior career and has scored and assisted one goal apiece so far.
Mendes’ rise to prominence over the past few months hasn’t gone unnoticed, with a number of clubs across Europe, like Manchester United and Liverpool taking an interest, along with Real Madrid. Unlike the other two clubs monitoring the teenager, Los Blancos’ need for a left-back is more imminent.
Apart from Mendes, Real Madrid are also considering a swoop for Bayern Munich contract rebel David Alaba. Although, given his versatile nature, the Austrian international could easily slot in at centre-back, where the Merengues may need a replacement for club captain and legend Sergio Ramos in the near future.
Mendes, given his age and potential, would represent a solid long-term investment for Real Madrid. However, given the number of clubs keeping a close eye on the Portuguese U-21 international, Zinedine Zidane & co. will have their task cut out to snap him up from Sporting Lisbon.