Real Madrid are looking to sign a quality midfielder this summer and Los Blancos are planning to add Valencia’s highly-rated Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes to their ranks.
Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are Madrid’s first choice midfielders. Then there is Casemiro. The Brazilian defensive midfielder has proved to be a key player last season and he will continue to progress under Zinedine Zidane. The same can’t be said about his fellow compatriot, Lucas Silva. He was set to be loaned to Portuguese side Sporting before a heart issue ended the deal. He doesn’t seem to be a long term solution for Madrid, unless he proves himself elsewhere and forces his way into the first team plans again. Likewise, Mateo Kovacic has struggled to settle down at Madrid since joining from Inter Milan and although Madrid have high hopes for him there is a possibility the Croatian could be loaned out this summer.
So what sort of midfielders Madrid are looking at? To be honest, it is baffling. For instance, Madrid initially showed an interest in N’Golo Kante (has joined Chelsea) who is an out-and-out defensive midfielder. Then they shifted their attention to Paul Pogba (the Frenchman is Manchester United-bound), a player is known for his box-to-box quality. Madrid were probably put off by Pogba’s €100m-120m transfer fee (the figures varies, depending on which source you trust) and it hasn’t gone down well in the Spanish press. For instance, Spanish newspaper AS has tried to put a positive spin on the situation by claiming Madrid simply allowed United to conclude the deal for Pogba. Snobbery at it’s very best!
As a result, Los Blancos have turned their attention towards Andre Gomes. The 22-year-old is a versatile midfielder who can play in multiple positions but he is most comfortable playing in the centre or on the left.
Modric will turn 31 in September and he is not getting any younger. Gomes is earmarked as a perfect player to replace the Croatian midfield maestro. Gomes’ main strength lies in passing and distribution. Though he doesn’t rack up a 90% passing accuracy like Modric (age is a factor too) but overall he is good enough with his passing. He is always on the lookout for a key pass that can create an opportunity for a goal while puts in a substantial defensive shift as well. Most importantly, having played for Valencia for two seasons now, he is accustomed to playing in the Spanish league by now.
Gomes will definitely want to play for Madrid but it won’t be a piece of cake for the European champions to sign him. Valencia, cash-strapped, need to sell a few players to maintain the Financial Fair Play regulations and Los Che are demanding a fee around €60-65m for the Portuguese. The reason being 25% of Gomes’ transfer fee will go to Benfica and Valencia would they get a fair amount of profit from the deal. Over to you, Real Madrid.