Which players are Real Madrid watching at the World Cup?

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • Updated: 27 Nov 2022 07:09 GMT
  • 4 min read
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Real Madrid signed Germany stars Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and there could be more transfers of that ilk after the 2022 tournament in Qatar…

Ozil and Khedira were playing for mid-range Bundesliga clubs at the time in Werder Bremen and VfB Stuttgart, but after helping Germany finish third, they got their big moves to the Bernabeu, and hoovered up trophies thereafter.

Not that Real always get it right in light of a World Cup. James Rodriguez was bought for €75 million from Monaco after top scoring for Colombia at the 2014 edition in Brazil with six goals, but his career in Madrid quickly fizzled out after an impressive first season.

READ: Reyna drops Bellingham Real Madrid transfer hint

Madrid remains perhaps the most prestigious destination in world football, and some of the best players in Qatar this winter are already on Real's radar. First among those is their key transfer target, Jude Bellingham, who is already off the mark with England having headed home their opener in the 6-2 thrashing of Iran.

Competition on Bellingham - from Manchester City and Liverpool in particular - is fierce, although the prospect of the 19-year-old completing a midfield triumvirate with Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga for the next generation is a mouth-watering one for Real fans and neutrals alike.

Bellingham Plan B

Should Real be beaten to the punch for Bellingham, they are reportedly keeping tabs on Leicester City's Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans. Arsenal are the favourites to sign the 25-year-old, who is out of contact next summer, but a Bellingham move breakdown could change that quickly.

READ: Ronaldo pushing for shock Real Madrid return

Elsewhere, Real will be keeping a keen eye on Portugal's progress. Cristiano Ronaldo is their record 450-goal top scorer and available on a free transfer after his release from Manchester United following a controversial interview with Piers Morgan. Real's star striker Karim Benzema pulled out of the World Cup with France due to a thigh injury, meanwhile…

But Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes are pushing for a six-month return to Madrid more than the club are, and Real president Florentina has reportedly set aside €80m to make AC Milan winger Rafa Leao their next Galactico.

France talisman Kylian Mbappe nearly joined Real from PSG last summer. Having spurned Real, their attention has now shifted to Endrick, who isn't in Qatar with his native Brazil but has garnered significant attention with his Palmeiras form at just 16 years of age. The presence of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo - who are at the World Cup - could help tip the balance in Real's favour.