REAL MADRID | WILLIAM CARVALHO
Benítez identifies William Carvalho as top midfield target
The Real manager is unconvinced by both Lucas Silva and Asier Illarramendi and wants to add Portugal midfielder to his squad.
Rafa Benítez has asked Real Madrid to provide one more reinforcement in midfield ahead of the start of the Liga season and the name on top of his list is that of Portugal international William Carvalho. The Real manager has discarded the idea of using Lucas Silva this season with the Brazilian to be farmed out on loan, and is not convinced either by Asier Illarramendi, who will be sold if a suitable offer comes in.
That leaves Benítez with just Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro in the engine room for an assault on three fronts, leading the Spaniard to surmise that an extra body is needed in the defensive midfield positions.
Carvalho, currently at Sporting, meets all of Benítez's requirements; he is 1.87 metres tall, physically powerful and has good distribution to start moves from the back. Despite his relative youth at 23, last season he assumed the responsibility of an on-field leader at Sporting and he is one of the first names on the Portugal team sheet.
Madrid have been watching Carvalho's progress since last season but it was after his performances at the under-21 European Championship, where he was elected the player of the tournament, that the Bernabéu decided to make their interest concrete. Contact was made with the player's agent, Jorge Mendes, and a price tag of 45 million euros mooted. Sporting suspect that they may lose one of their star players in the next few days and have already moved to ameliorate the departure of Carvalho with the signing of Alberto Aquilani and Bruno Paulista.