La Liga outfit want to strengthen their back four next year.
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Spanish giants Real Madrid will make a move for highly rated Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta if los Blancos fail to land first-choice target Cesar Azpilicueta from Chelsea when the winter transfer window opens again for business in the new year, according to reports in the Sun.
Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti would rather sign the west London club’s Spain international at the turn of the year if given the choice, however, the Italian is not confident that the Blues will be willing to part company with the versatile 24-year-old, especially now that Azpilicueta has been recalled to the starting lineup by boss Jose Mourinho.
All of which means that Madrid may instead be forced to switch their focus towards the Blues’ experienced right back, with Ancelotti understood to be prepared to offer as much as £12 million in order to lure the Argentina international to the Santiago Bernabeu in January.
Zabaleta has been in the north west now since the summer of 2008, when the 28-year-old arrived at Eastlands from Liga outfit Espanyol on a five-year deal for a fee of just £6.45m.
And in the intervening period, the reliable Argentinian has gone on to establish himself as being one of the most consistent and effective full backs plying their trade in the Premier League.