Real Madrid set to battle Liverpool in the summer chase for €35m Serie A talisman

Real Madrid are reportedly set to battle Liverpool in pursuit of Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski in the summer.

According to a report in TransferMarketWeb, Real Madrid and Liverpool are interested in signing Piotr Zielisnki. The two European heavyweights are all set to battle each other to land the Polish midfielder from Napoli in the summer transfer window.

Zielinski joined the youth setup at Udinese as a 17-year-old in 2011 before quickly graduating to the senior side only a year later. However, he never quite managed to become a regular fixture at Stadio Friuli, and it was only a two-year loan spell at Empoli that shot the player into the limelight.

A fierce transfer battle resulted in Zielinski moving to Napoli last summer and his career has gone on to new heights with the Italian giants. One of the first names on the team sheets at San Paolo, the 22-year-old has played all but three games for Napoli, and is an integral member in Maurizio Sarri’s squad.

In 45 appearances across all competitions, the player has managed to score 6 goals while providing 7 assists, and has made a big impression with his passing abilities – be it short and intricate or long balls through the air.

And although he is primarily an attacking midfielder, Zielinski is equally adept at playing in the centre of the park as well as on the right wing. As the transfer window approaches, the midfielder is starting to become a highly sought after player again, with Real Madrid and Liverpool leading the race to sign him.

At Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane has a wealth of options in midfield at his disposal. But one of his key players, Luka Modric, is on the wrong side of 30 and has shown signs of age catching up to him.

Having had a closer look at the player during Real Madrid’s Champions League Round of 16 tie against Napoli, Zidane has seen what the player is capable of in person. And Zielinski, with his skill-set and passing abilities could make for a top notch long-term replacement for the Croat, when he eventually calls time on his Real Madrid career.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have been following Zielinski’s progress for a long time, and the Merseyside club were a part of the aforementioned transfer battle that ended with the Pole joining Napoli.

However, Liverpool have continued to retain an interest in Zielinski, with Jurgen Klopp believed to be eager to bolster his options in midfield. The 22-year-old will also bring a set of abilities to the plate that none of the Liverpool players can boast of, which would make him a valuable addition at Anfield.

The report suggests that Maurizio Sarri considers Zielinski to be an important asset in his squad, and Napoli are unlikely to make the player available for sale.

However, a bid of €35 million or more could tempt the club into doing business, and it remains to be seen if either Real Madrid or Liverpool make an official offer for Zielinski in the summer.