Real boss 'regrets' EPL signing, 2 replacements lined up

Antonio Rudiger
Antonio Rudiger

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez reportedly regrets signing a certain former Premier League star, and is said to have lined up two players as his replacement.

With Real yet to make a signing in the January transfer window, the club is now believed to be in the market for a new centre-back.

According to Spanish outlet El Nacional, Los Blancos president Perez has grown increasingly tired of Antonio Rudiger, who has struggled to fully establish himself at the Santiago Bernabeu since moving to Madrid from Chelsea in July 2022, and is said to regret signing the German as a free agent after his exit from Stamford Bridge.

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The 29-year-old committed a costly error during Real's 3-1 Spanish Super Cup final defeat by arch-rivals FC Barcelona on Sunday – Rudiger made a sloppy pass to teammate Edouard Camavinga, which quickly led to a transition that saw young Blaugrana midfielder Gavi score the opener in the 32nd minute to give the Catalans the lead.

This swayed the momentum in favour of Barca, who went on to score two more goals through Robert Lewandowski and Pedri, while Karim Benzema netted a consolation strike after the 90th minute as Real were handed a convincing 3-1 defeat. 

Perez has not been particularly impressed with the Germany defender, and it is believed he is weighing up a replacement or two to sign in his place, with Villarreal star Pau Torres and Inter Milan's Milan Skriniar considered to be the two candidates. 

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The Italian giants are desperate to keep the latter beyond the expiry of his deal in June this year. The Slovakian has already gained the interest of Paris Saint-Germain, and Inter are expecting a decision from the player regarding his future after Wednesday's Supercoppa Italiana match against AC Milan, per Corriere della Sera.

Torres, meanwhile, is understood to be reluctant to leave Villarreal, although a reunion with his former boss Unai Emery at Aston Villa is also considered to be a possibility for the Spaniard.

The 26-year-old is under contract until June 2024 and, according to Football Insider, potential suitors would have to pay at least £40 million (R831 million) to prise him away from his boyhood club. 

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