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Open Thread: February 19, 2021

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Another issue of the Daily Merengue!

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek lx or NeRObutBlanco.

Josep Pedrerol: Real Madrid will shake Europe in the coming transfer window.

El Chiringuito TV’s Josep Pedrerol reported that Florentino Perez has decided to make a huge signing this summer and to tell Europe that Real Madrid is BACK. He will sign Kylian Mbappé or Erling Haaland. There is no “plan A” or “plan B” at the moment. Both are real options. The journalist went on to state that Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland both want to join Real Madrid this summer, and the club knows it. Real Madrid believes that Kylian Mbappé is waiting for them to make a move for him by not renewing his contract with PSG. So Madridistas imagine you’re Florentino for a second and pick an answer to the following poll question.

Poll

Would you pay 200 Million Euros outright for Kylian Mbappe?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Yes
    (164 votes)
  • 39%
    No
    (124 votes)
  • 8%
    Undecided at this time
    (27 votes)
315 votes total Vote Now

Melchor Ruiz of Deportes Cope also echoed the same sentiment and believes that Real Madrid have completely changed their transfer strategy. They have decided to sell €100M worth of players and use the money to build the core of the future of the club. ABC Deportes however reported that the club is ready to let Isco, Marcelo and Bale leave for free this summer.

Loan Watch: Bale, Odegaard and more.

Gareth Bale finally came good in a rare start for Spurs against Wolfsberger AC in the Europa League. He first had an assist for Son’s opening goal and then scored himself with a trade mark finish from his left foot, all within 30 minutes. This is what Spurs fans have been hoping for all season and dare I say Madrid fans too.

Both Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos started and played 90 minutes in Arsenal’s Europa league fixture against Benfica. But while the gunner’s performance against Leeds on Sunday evoked feelings of joy, this draw with Benfica was full of frustration. Odegaard had a good night however, carving out opportunities and proving a real threat, but in the end Benfica’s stubborn defence held firm to claim a 1-1 draw. The attacking midfielder was Arsenal’s best player on the night and we saw shades of the player who lit up LaLiga with Real Sociedad last season.

A few of the Norwegian’s passes split the Benfica defence in half and it was no surprise Arsenal’s goal came from him. Odegaard slid in Cedric Soares down the left and, when he drilled his cross in, Saka was there to tap home at the back post.

Dani Ceballos had a great game as well and this might be his best back to back games for Arsenal since he arrived in North London. The central midfielder was taken off in the 89th minute for the closing stages of the match, but helped pull the strings when in possession and also worked hard defensively off the ball. With performances like this Arsenal could be looking to permanently sign him from Madrid.

Mayoral continued his rich vein of form scoring late for Roma in their Europa league fixture against Braga. This is now his fourth goal in Europe on top of the six he already has in the Serie A.

More Transfer Rumors: Real Madrid eye Pau Torres, United in for Fede Valverde.

Real Madrid are monitoring central defensive options as the uncertainty around the future of Sergio Ramos grows. Torres, 24, has been monitored by Los Blancos for several weeks, but Madrid may find a hefty price tag stands in their way. Villarreal have valued their prime defender’s contract at €65 million, which could be beyond Madrid’s existing spending power.

Manchester United meanwhile are already preparing for a future without Paul Pogba and could even go knocking on Real Madrid’s door to replace the Frenchman if he leaves in the summer.

According to Daily Star, the Red Devils have shortlisted Los Blancos star Federico Valverde as the ideal replacement for Paul Pogba amid uncertainties surrounding his future. Manchester United have already prepared a list of alternatives for the Frenchman, and the Real Madrid midfielder features prominently there.