Napoli are reported to be interested in taking Raúl Albiol off Real Madrid’s hands during the first inscription period. Over the next few days, recently-appointed Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti and his assistant Zinedine Zidane are expected to draw up a list of players who will be put up for transfer this summer with Albiol one of the candidates to be heading out of the Bernabéu before the new season starts.
Albiol arrived from Valencia for 15 million euros in the summer of 2009. He was a first choice starter under Manuel Pellegrini, pairing up either with Pepe or Ezequiel Garay in central defence. Yet when José Mourinho took over from the Chilean coach, Albiol found himself out in the cold. Once Pepe had recovered from a ligament tear injury, he returned to the side but this time, partnering Sergio Ramos. When Raphaël Varane broke into the starting XI last year, Albiol’s changes of gaining minutes dwindled even further and his situation doesn’t look like it will improve as Castilla captain Nacho Fernández has graduated to the senior side.
Rafa Benítez is looking for a replacement for Hugo Campagnaro and has set his sights on Albiol or Valencia’s Adil Rami to fill the vacant central defence slot. Both players are valued at around the eight million euro mark.