Real Madrid are reportedly preparing a summer swoop for Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso, with the Blues linked with a possible replacement.
The 26-year-old arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer in a £22m deal, as per Marca, and has gone on to establish himself as a key part of Antonio Conte’s side.
An ever-present this season, Alonso has been pivotal in the left wing-back position to helping Chelsea maintain a 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League table as the title looks to be heading back to west London this season.
However, the report claims that Real Madrid are hoping to break up the party as they need another left-back in Zinedine Zidane’s squad and are keen for him to be a homegrown player. Madrid runs in the family for Alonso as his grandfather is a Los Blancos legend and so there is an angle there that could attract him back to the Spanish capital.
Nevertheless, the report claims that Madrid aren’t confident of Chelsea allowing him to leave, and they do have alternatives in mind just in case.
What could provide a bonus-code style boost to their confidence though is that a separate report has suggested that Conte will look to sign Roma defender Emerson Palmieri this summer, ideally as competition for Alonso but it could possibly be as a replacement.
The Daily Mail report that the 23-year-old is top of Conte’s shortlist and would seemingly fit in perfectly having played a similar role at the Stadio Olimpico this season.
It’s unclear how much he would cost, but with the addition of Champions League football to their fixture list next season, Conte needs depth in every position and this is one where he doesn’t have enough currently.
Elsewhere, Thibaut Courtois has ended speculation over his future by dismissing Real Madrid links and insisting that he plans to stay at Chelsea.
Things can of course change very quickly in football, but the fact that the Belgian has come out and addressed it would suggest that he intends to remain at Stamford Bridge for the foreseeable future.
“I don’t see myself at Real Madrid,” he said, as reported by The Guardian. “I see myself at Chelsea, the club that six years ago saw me playing in Belgium and gave me the opportunity to sign for them. They also allowed me to be three years at Atlético [Madrid], which helped me to be the keeper that I am now.”