Real Madrid are considering a surprise swoop for Leeds United forward Rodrigo following the high-profile departure of Karim Benzema.
According to reports from Spanish news outlet COPE, Carlo Ancelotti’s side have identified Rodrigo as a potential replacement for Benzema, who ended his 15-year stay at the Bernabeu to join Saudi Arabian champions Al-Ittihad.
The 31-year-old Spanish international could be available for a cut-price fee of just €3.5 million due to Leeds’ relegation from the Premier League.
While Rodrigo would initially join as a squad player, his goal-scoring exploits in England suggest he could vie for a starting spot.
The striker netted 13 goals for Leeds last season, making him the club’s top scorer despite injuries limiting his game time.
Any transfer activity at Elland Road remains in limbo until 49ers Enterprises finalize their takeover of the club. However, with just one year left on his current deal, Rodrigo may see a move to the La Liga giants as too good an opportunity to turn down.
The forward joined Leeds for £27 million in 2020 but endured a bittersweet end to his debut campaign in England. Following Leeds’ relegation, Rodrigo took to social media to apologize to fans, saying:
“I can’t find the words to describe yesterday’s feeling. I just can say SORRY to all Leeds fans. For sure you deserve much better from us.”
Real Madrid Eye Shock Move for Rodrigo
The possible arrival of Rodrigo would soften the blow of losing Benzema, who agreed to a three-year contract with Al-Ittihad after a trophy-laden 15 seasons at Real Madrid.
On his move to Saudi Arabia, Benzema said:
“I have achieved everything I can in Spain and Europe. It now feels the time is right for a new challenge and project.”
With friend and former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo already plying his trade in the Saudi Pro League, Benzema is confident he can replicate his success abroad in what he describes as an “improving” competition.