Real Madrid and Chelsea are reportedly keen on signing 23-year-old Turkish defender Merih Demiral, who is on loan at Atalanta from fellow Serie A club Juventus.

According to a report by Turkish outlet Fanatik, Real Madrid and Chelsea are interested in signing Merih Demiral in the summer transfer window. The 23-year-old defender is currently on loan at Atalanta from fellow Serie A club Juventus, with La Dea ready to buy him permanently before selling him for a profit.

Merih Demiral has been in Italy since January 2019, when he joined Sassuolo from Alanyaspor. And after just half a season in Serie A, he was signed by Juventus in July 2019. However, the switch to Turin did not work out as envisioned as a spate of injuries blighted Demiral to a great extent. So, it was not surprising when he joined Atalanta on a season-long loan deal in August 2021.

The 23-year-old has been a solid customer at the back for La Dea, making 19 appearances across all competitions while chipping in with two goals and one assist. The Turkish defender’s exploits for the Serie A outfit have captured the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe, with Real Madrid and Chelsea setting their sights on him.

The Spanish giants have been linked with Demiral previously for a brief period. However, it looks like Real Madrid’s interest in the young defender is more serious right now, with Carlo Ancelotti keen on addressing some of the issues in his team’s defensive unit.

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With David Alaba the only defensive signing last summer despite the departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, it behoves Real Madrid to invest in a centre-back. To that end, several central defenders, including Nico Schlotterbeck, have emerged on their radar, with Demiral also a viable target. However, Los Blancos will need to fend off competition from Chelsea in pursuit of the 23-year-old.

Chelsea’s eagerness to sign a centre-back stems from Antonio Rudiger’s uncertain future at the club. In fact, Rudiger, coincidentally linked with Real Madrid, is one of three centre-backs whose Chelsea futures are up in the air. As a result, the Blues have been linked with several central defenders, including Alessio Romagnoli, whose fellow Serie A defender Demiral is also an option worth considering.

According to the report, Atalanta could take up the option to buy the 23-year-old permanently before selling him on a profit. However, it remains to be seen if Real Madrid can beat Chelsea and other suitors, including Newcastle United, to secure the services of the Turkish defender.

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