Tactical Insights

FC Barcelona Offered Real Madrid Star, Reports El Nacional

A Real Madrid star has been offered to bitter rivals FC Barcelona by his agent according to El Nacional which cited anonymous sources.

Andriy Lunin has been an unexpected success story in 2023/2024, with his string of top class saves having much to do with Madrid’s comfortable eight-point cushion at the La Liga summit and qualification to the Champions League quarterfinals where they will meet Manchester City next week.

The Ukranian became Carlo Ancelotti’s firm number one choice between the sticks when Thibaut Courtois ruptured his ACL approaching Matchday 1 in August.

Madrid initially brought in Kepa on loan from Chelsea to stand in for the Belgian, but his mistakes meant that Lunin won an audition as Ancelotti rotated the two and has since been unmoveable from the starting line up.

With Courtois suffering an injury in his other knee which, according to MARCA, caused him to leave training in tears a fortnight ago, Lunin will continue in the first XI until next summer.

SPORT reported that president Florentino Perez plans to double the salary of the lowest-earning member of the squad from roughly $2 million past $4 million, and OK Diario has also revealed interest from City’s crosstown rivals Manchester United.

According to El Nacional, the player that recently signed up for representation from super-agent Jorge Mendes is being offered to clubs around Europe.

Given his close relationship with the Catalans’ president Joan Laporta, and the fact he has players such as Lamine Yamal, Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix on his endless list of clients, FC Barcelona is one of those outfits.

Barca of course already boasts one of the world’s best goalkeepers in Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and it seems difficult to believe that Lunin would move somewhere else to again play second fiddle as we will probably see once Courtois returns to full fitness.

Furthermore, even more difficult to imagine is that the two eternal enemies in El Clasico would negotiate a sale from one outfit to the other – especially when considering how frayed their relationship is at the moment.

Though the Spanish behemoths might remain the only founding clubs left in the bid to launch the European Super League, Barca has taken umbrage to Madrid’s insistence on appearing in the ‘Caso Negreira’ case pertaining to payments made to the former vice president of the Technical Referees Committee.

A belief that Madrid is trying to influence the performances of match officials, and therefore the outcome of games, through its TV channel is another gripe the Blaugrana has.

In an interview with Mundo Deportivo last month, Laporta called Madrid an “aberration” and demanded the club from the capital be punished with sanctions for its conduct.

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