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Real Madrid target star midfield duo as replacement for Kovacic

Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui

Bengaluru, August 9: European champions Real Madrid have reportedly identified midfield stars Thiago and Miralem Pjanic as potential replacements for Mateo Kovacic.

Croatian international Kovacic is believed to be in London for a medical ahead of completing a season-long loan move to Chelsea.

With Real Madrid now in a dire need of a midfielder to bolster their ranks, various Spanish media outlets claim that Bayern's Thiago and Juventus ace Pjanic are the players they have turned their attention to.

Thiago, 27, came through the ranks at Barcelona before moving to Bayern in 2013 and it is claimed that he would like to return to his homeland amid interest from his former national team boss.

Julen Lopetegui called up Thiago to the Spain squad before he was controversially axed on the eve of the tournament after Real Madrid announced he was to become their new boss.

Bayern would reportedly want £54million for the 31-cap Spanish star but it is believed that Real Madrid would also explore their chances of getting Juventus midfield maestro Miralem Pjanic.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina international was on Chelsea's radar before their move for Kovacic and the Bosnia international is said to now be in Real's sights.

Juventus paid £25m to sign the playmaker, 28, from Roma in 2016 but the Italian champions are now said to want to triple their money if Real want to follow up on their initial interest.

Pjanic may be considered one of the closest comparisons to Real Madrid superstar Modric in terms of playing style and could be tempted into jumping ship for Los Merengues, the team that beat him and the Bianconeri to the UEFA Champions League crown in 2017.

Real Madrid are worried with the ongoing speculations regarding Modric to Inter Milan and could be readying a bid for Pjanic in order to be ready with a proper replacement if Modric does leave the club.

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    Story first published: Thursday, August 9, 2018, 10:02 [IST]
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