Real Madrid want to sign RCD Espanyol striker Joselu to provide cover and competition for Karim Benzema, according to Spanish outlet Relevo.
Los Blancos suffered an embarrassing 4-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday (May 17). The Spanish giants thus lost the semifinal 5-1 on aggregate and crashed out of the tournament.
Real Madrid have four games left this season but have nothing to play for as Barcelona have already clinched the La Liga title. Hence, they are looking ahead to the next campaign.
According to the aforementioned source, one major problem that was exposed against Manchester City was the team’s lack of options up front. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have reportedly been aware of the issue for months and are determined to solve it this summer.
There are concerns about Benzema’s form as the Frenchman has scored only six times in his past eight games across competitions. Mariano Diaz, meanwhile, is set to leave the club when his contract ends in June.
Los Blancos have set their sights on signing a new striker to provide backup and competition for Benzema. As per the report, Espanyol’s Joselu has thus emerged as a target for the Santiago Bernabeu outfit.
Real Madrid are yet to open talks with Espanyol over a deal for Joselu out of respect. The Catalonia-based club are embroiled in a relegation battle, sitting 19th in La Liga and four points adrift of the safe zone.
Joselu, who joined Espanyol from Alaves for free last summer, has bagged 16 goals and four assists in 35 games across competitions this season. He made his debut for Spain in their 3-0 win against Norway in the 2024 UEFA European Championship qualifiers in March and netted a brace.
The Spaniard is contracted to Espanyol until 2025 but could be available for a cut-price deal if his team suffer relegation. Joselu notably spent three years between 2009 and 2012 with Real Madrid Castilla and made two first-team appearances during the period.
How did Karim Benzema fare for Real Madrid against Manchester City?
Karim Benzema has bagged 29 goals and six assists in 40 games across competitions for Real Madrid this season. He netted thrice in the team’s 6-2 aggregate win against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. However, the striker struggled to have a similar impact against Manchester City.
The Frenchman amassed an xG of 0.31 and 0.17 in the first leg and the second leg respectively. He had just two shots on target across the two games. The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner also missed one big chance in the first leg.
Benzema registered 75 touches in both games combined. For context, Manchester City players Rodri, Manuel Akanji, Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish had more in the second leg alone. It’s safe to say that the 35-year-old was far from effective in the tie.
Paul Merson predicts the result of Man City vs Chelsea and other PL GW 37 fixtures! Click here