Real Madrid Transfers: 5 possible midfielders to target going into 2021

Manchester United, Paul Pogba (Photo credit should read ROBERT ATANASOVSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Manchester United, Paul Pogba (Photo credit should read ROBERT ATANASOVSKI/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Sassuolo, Manuel Locatelli
Sassuolo, Manuel Locatelli (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images) /

Sassuolo CM Manuel Locatelli

I thought about putting Fabian Ruiz on this list, since the Napoli standout has been linked with a Real Madrid move for more than a year. But to be honest, I’m not buying it. I think Napoli will hold onto him or sell him to PSG, because his profile doesn’t fit what Real need, especially when we consider the rumored cost to sign him.

However, Manuel Locatelli is the kind of player Real should be looking at closely. It’s more likely for him to stay in Serie A, yes, but he is a much better player than Ruiz when you look at what he is accomplishing this season as THE crucial player for an exciting Sassuolo side.

A true leader at the heart of midfield, Locatelli does it all as an orchestrator and defender. A deep-lying midfielder, Locatelli has recorded 2.7 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game in Serie A. He’s not afraid to do the dirty work, but he also has two goals, 84 passes per game, a key pass per game, and nearly two fouls drawn per match.

When you watch Locatelli play, it’s hard to believe he is 22. The man is an inspirational figure for his club and has recently shown that he can be the same type of presence for the Italian national team. I don’t know how you can watch Serie A and think that Ruiz is a better target for Real Madrid than Locatelli.

The issue, of course, is playing time. At Sassuolo, Locatelli is the star man. At Juventus, for example, he would definitely be a regular starter over the likes of Rodrigo Bentancur and Adrien Rabiot. But at Real Madrid, he would be a backup player.

Next. 5 defenders for Real Madrid to target. dark

Then again, we could say that same disqualifier about Aouar and Camavinga, with the former being just as old as Locatelli. I doubt Locatelli is truly an option for Real, but he’s so good that Madridistas should consider him, too.