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Real Madrid, Newcastle United to battle for Sevilla's Juanlu Sanchez?

Real Madrid, Newcastle to battle for Juanlu Sanchez?
© Reuters
Real Madrid and Newcastle United reportedly prepare to do battle for the signature of 20-year-old Sevilla right-back Juanlu Sanchez.

Real Madrid and Newcastle United are reportedly preparing to rival one another for the services of Sevilla defender Juanlu Sanchez.

The 20-year-old is enjoying a breakthrough season with the Europa League winners, challenging the veteran Jesus Navas for the right-back berth after making his first two appearances for the club in the 2021-22 season.

Sanchez dropped down a division to spend the 2022-23 campaign on loan with Mirandes, with whom he contributed two goals and five assists in 38 games across a wide range of positions.

Primarily a right-back, Sanchez was also deployed as a right wing-back, right winger, left winger and even in a central attacking role for Mirandes, before making a name for himself with Sevilla.

The 2003-born defender has largely played as a right-back this season and has set up three goals in 15 matches across all tournaments, making five starts in La Liga and two in the Champions League.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti before the match on August 25, 2023© Reuters

Sanchez, who stands at 6ft 1in tall, is yet to make his senior Spain debut, but he earned his first cap for the Under-21s in an October friendly draw with Uzbekistan and has represented his nation from Under-16 level onwards.

Sevilla have Sanchez under contract until 2026, but Diego Alonso's side may be fighting a losing battle to keep hold of him, as Fichajes reports that both Real Madrid and Newcastle have taken an interest in the defender.

Real currently have Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez competing for the right-back spot at Bernabeu, but Los Blancos have just been dealt a blow with the former, who is set to miss the rest of 2023 with a calf injury.

Vazquez will step in for Carvajal while he recovers, but the 32-year-old - who is one year Carvajal's senior - is out of contract in the summer and is free to begin negotiating with foreign teams in January.

With Carvajal also struggling with persistent injury problems in the latter stages of his career, Real are understandably planning for life without the 31-year-old, whose own contract only runs until 2025.

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe during a press conference on November 27, 2023© Reuters

Sanchez has supposedly been identified as Real's top pick to succeed Carvajal in the long-term, but Carlo Ancelotti's men will face stiff competition from Newcastle, who are keen to add Sanchez to their youthful full-back roster.

Over the summer, Newcastle signed 21-year-old Tino Livramento from Southampton on a permanent basis and also poached 19-year-old Lewis Hall on loan from Chelsea with an obligation to buy.

The pair joined as replacements for Emil Krafth and Javi Manquillo, both of whom are likely to depart when their deals expire in 2024, while Dan Burn (back) and Matt Targett (hamstring) are currently out through injury.

However, Newcastle could instead prioritise the capture of a new goalkeeper in January following the news that Nick Pope could be sidelined for between four and five months with a dislocated shoulder sustained in Saturday's 1-0 win over Manchester United.

The Magpies are thought to be weighing up a move for David de Gea, who is still a free agent after leaving the Red Devils at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

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