Carlo Ancelotti has the difficult task of trying to improve the Bayern Munich starting line-up this summer - when he officially replaces Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena - but the experienced Italian coach already has two transfer targets in mind.
According to Catalan newspaper Sport, Ancelotti will make an approach for two players he coached at Real Madrid: Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez.
The 56-year-old knows that James could be available for less than his €80 million release clause, while Florentino Perez may allow Benzema to leave the Bernabeu if Robert Lewandowski moves in the opposite direction.
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It was reported last month - by the Telegraph - that Lewandowski has his heart set a move to Real Madrid, despite interest from the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.
The Poland international is a year younger than Benzema and has established his status, in the eyes of many, as the best No. 9 in world football over the past 12 months.
Perez wouldn't block move for Benzema
But Benzema remains a hugely effective player for Real Madrid and is, in fact, on course to break his record for number of goals scored in a single season.
The France international has netted a magnificent 23 goals in 22 matches this season. Furthermore, both Zinedine Zidane and Perez are huge fans of the 28-year-old.
But Sport claim that Perez wouldn’t block a move for Benzema because of the various non-sporting incidents that have “hurt” the image of Real Madrid - such as the Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape scandal.
Bayern have better chance of signing James
Ancelotti would probably stand an even better chance of bringing James to Germany.
The Colombia international is not comfortable with life at Real Madrid and the club haven’t been particularly impressed with the player of late, either.
Zidane seems to prefer Isco - the French coach was reportedly unhappy with James’s fitness levels and lack of professionalism when he replaced Rafael Benitez last month - and it wouldn’t be a huge shock if the 24-year-old left the Bernabeu at the end of the season.
Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery aren’t getting any younger, and very few clubs would reject the chance to sign James if the opportunity arises. The 24-year-old possesses world-class talent and could make a real impact in the Bundesliga.
Man Utd also keen
If Real Madrid decide to sell James, though, Bayern Munich might face competition from Manchester United for the player’s signature.
It was reported last month - by The Sun - that the Red Devils were lining up a record-breaking bid for the South American playmaker.
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