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Real Madrid 'begin work on signing Bayer Leverkusen star'

Real Madrid 'begin work on signing Bayer Leverkusen star'
© Reuters
Real Madrid reportedly begin working on a deal to sign 21-year-old Bayer Leverkusen starlet Florian Wirtz in the summer of 2025.

Real Madrid have reportedly set the wheels in motion to sign one of the stars of Bayer Leverkusen's marvellous 2023-24 season.

Already crowned champions of the Bundesliga, Xabi Alonso's unbeaten troops are pursuing a terrific treble and will also compete in the Europa League and DFB-Pokal finals in a few weeks' time.

Integral to Die Werkself's incredible success this season has been the highly-rated playmaker Florian Wirtz, the 21-year-old who has had a direct hand in 37 goals in 46 matches this season.

Wirtz has struck 18 goals of his own in addition to providing 19 assists, and he has hit double figures in both metrics for the Bundesliga season, netting 11 times and setting up 11 more.

The 2003-born protege has been considered one of Germany's top prospects for a number of years now, and even though injuries briefly stalled his progression last season, he has continued his meteoric rise since returning to full fitness.

Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz in action on November 25, 2023© Reuters

Real Madrid 'to delay Wirtz pursuit until 2025'

The Germany international, also set to play a key role for his nation at Euro 2024, is under contract with the Bundesliga champions for another three seasons, but top European clubs are circling ahead of the summer window.

Bayer Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro recently insisted that none of Alonso's players is unsellable, but it would take a fee of €150m (£129.7m) to prise Wirtz away from the BayArena in the near future.

Nevertheless, Marca - via the Daily Mail - states that Real Madrid have now begun to work on their transfer strategy to sign the ex-Koln youngster, but they will not pursue his services this summer.

Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe will be the club's marquee arrival ahead of 2024-25, and even though Real Madrid will not have to pay the French champions a single penny, he will command huge wages and a signing-on fee.

As a result, the report claims that Los Blancos will instead try to sign Wirtz for the 2025-26 season and are willing to risk rival suitors trying to buy him out of his Leverkusen contract in the current window.

Where could Wirtz fit in at Real Madrid?

Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz celebrates scoring their first goal on September 21, 2023© Reuters

Los Blancos' pursuit of the 21-year-old is not much of a surprise - many young superstars end up donning the famous white strip, such as Jude Bellingham, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga and, in a couple of months, Mbappe.

However, the former has excelled in Wirtz's preferred number 10 position in Carlo Ancelotti's 4-3-1-2 system this year, while the arrival of Mbappe could lead to another formation tweak, unless he starts in tandem up top with Vinicius Junior.

A more likely scenario for 2024-25 is Mbappe occupying the striker's slot with Vinicius and Rodrygo either side of him, thereby forcing Bellingham into a slightly deeper midfield position.

Consequently, there may not be scope for Wirtz to be Real Madrid's number 10 if he joins the Spanish champions next year, but he is also competent on both wings, which would seemingly be where his Bernabeu future lies.

Furthermore, the long-term futures of Vinicius and Rodrygo are not completely set in stone - both wingers have been tipped to head to the Premier League one day - although Wirtz would seemingly have to accept some rotation if the two Selecao stars stay put.

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