Date: 9th June 2020 at 8:30am
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According to a report from French outlet Foot Mercato, Real Madrid have joined the race to sign reported Man City target Ismael Bennacer – delivering a potential blow to Pep Guardiola’s hopes of landing the €30 million (£26.7 million) midfielder. 

Indeed, Real have seemingly registered their interest in the Algeria international along with previous front runners City and Paris-Saint Germain – giving the Sky Blues and sporting director Txiki Begiristain more illustrious competition for his signature.

Bennacer, who has started 18 Serie A games for current club AC Milan this season, appears to be firmly on Guardiola’s radar as he searches for a defensive midfielder who can replicate Fernandinho.

Could Bennacer succeed Fernandinho?

Yes, world beater

Yes, world beater

No, Ferna is irreplaceable

No, Ferna is irreplaceable

2019 club record summer signing Rodrigo, who arrived to the tune of £62.8 million from Atletico Madrid, has impressed in flashes this season but hasn’t been able to fill the Brazilian’s void in front of the back four – highlighted by City’s habit of conceding goals from outside the penalty area this season.

Due to Aymeric Laporte’s injury problems, combined with inconsistent performances from both John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, Fernandinho has had to fill in at centre-back – with the 35-year-old graciously signing a contract extension. 

In Bennacer, City may have found his ideal heir, especially when taking into account his stats.

As per WhoScored, the 22-year-old has made more tackles and interceptions on average than Fernandinho this season – potentially supporting the theory he could step into his shoes at the Etihad.

However, with Real Madrid allegedly on the prowl, City may have to fend off fierce competition to land the midfielder.

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