In Brief

Real Madrid striker search: Erling Braut Haaland and Sadio Mane the top targets?

Zinedine Zidane may look to boost his attacking options this summer

Despite it being nearly two years since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus Real Madrid have still yet to find a striker to replace the Portuguese superstar. 

Ronaldo’s departure left Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale as Real’s top attacking talent while Eden Hazard arrived in a big-money deal from Chelsea. However, Benzema is now 32, Bale is out of favour and Hazard has suffered injuries. 

There’s also Brazilian youngsters Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo in Real’s attacking ranks. The 19-year-olds are no doubt talented, but do they have enough experience to fire Real to La Liga glory or reclaim the club’s place as the best in Europe?

After an impressive two-year loan at Eintracht Frankfurt, Benfica’s Luka Jovic arrived in the Spanish capital in June 2019 and it was hoped the Serbian could find the net in La Liga like he had done in the Bundesliga.

With only two goals in 15 games the “Jovic experiment hasn’t worked out at all”, says Spanish newspaper Marca, and this means Real head coach Zinedine Zidane may be getting ready to go back to the transfer market in a bid to boost his side’s firepower.

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Haaland the primary target

Erling Braut Haaland only signed for Borussia Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg in the January transfer window and already he’s being linked with another big move. 

Like Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo, Haaland is also 19-years-old, but the Norwegian already possesses the strength and goal ratio to make him one of the world’s most-feared forwards. 

Since arriving at Dortmund he has scored 12 goals in 11 games and this form has made him Real’s primary target this summer, Marca reports. 

Even though La Liga and European football is suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic Real have already started their summer transfer plans. 

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is also a “dream” signing for Zidane, but Marca says any move this summer “looks impossible”. 

This means Haaland has emerged as the favourite to arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Liverpool signed Senegal striker Sadio Mane from Southampton in 2016

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Sissoko tips Mane to join Real

Another forward who has regularly been linked with Real Madrid in recent seasons is Liverpool’s Sadio Mane.  

The 27-year-old Senegal international has scored 59 goals in 118 games at Anfield since signing from Southampton in 2016. Along with strike partners Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino the trio have helped Liverpool win the Champions League and put the Reds on the verge of their first Premier League title in 30 years.   

Former Liverpool midfielder Mohamed Sissoko has tipped Mane to join Real Madrid and he believes the forward has the “characteristics” to become a huge success in Spain. 

Sissoko was asked by Europa Calcio if Salah or Mane could end up at the Bernabeu and he replied: “I think Sadio Mane is likelier to, because he has the characteristics that Zidane wants - he really rates him.

“I think Sadio Mane will go to Real Madrid.”

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