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24th Aug 2018

Real Madrid near agreement for former Liverpool forward

Most Liverpool fans will remember him for an infamously bad corner but since returning to LaLiga, he has become one of the best strikers in Spain

Reuben Pinder

Many Liverpool fans will remember him best for an infamously bad corner

It is difficult to deal with losing a player of Cristiano Ronaldo’s influence, regardless of the quality in the rest of the squad. The adjustment to playing without him, tactically, will be a challenge that Real Madrid need to overcome as soon as possible if they are to have any chance of regaining the LaLiga title.

While they will not be able to find a like for like replacement, Madrid are still keen to bring in another attacker who can offer goals from wide positions. The club have reportedly identified Valencia’s Rodrigo Moreno and Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas as potential targets.

Rodrigo will not be easy to sign, given his €80m release clause and growing importance at the Mestalla, but the striker began his career at Madrid and could probably be persuaded to push a move through if Madrid were willing to trigger his buyout clause.

Aspas, meanwhile, has grown into one of the most lethal finishers in Spain at Celta. A difficult spell at Liverpool during the 13/14 season saw his stock fall dramatically, but since moving back to Galicia, he has scored 55 goals in 101 games for Celta. Last season, he bagged 22 league goals in 34 league games.

Ronaldo and Lionel Messi may have skewed the average goalscoring output of forwards but that is as good as you’re going to get from a forward not in their superhuman bracket.

Reports in Spain claim that Madrid have come to an agreement with Celta for the sale of the 31-year-old, but that Rodrigo remains the club’s first choice.

Spanish clubs have until the end of August to wrap up their summer business, as opposed to Premier League clubs, who voted to close the transfer window before the season started.

Valencia have already signed Michy Batshuayi on loan from Chelsea for the season, as well as Kevin Gameiro from Atlético Madrid, so they are well stocked for forwards. They have also loaned out Simone Zaza to Torino.

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