Rafa Benitez is set to transform the Real Madrid team and deploy Cristiano Ronaldo as a lone striker next season, reports AS.
The story states that Benitez will bring the 4-2-3-1 formation he favoured at Napoli with him to the Bernabeu.
Ronaldo, who at 30-years-old may start to suffer from the effects of ageing next season, is set to be protected from defensive duties by playing up front at the expense of Karim Benzema.
Benzema had an impressive season for Real Madrid, scoring 15 goals in La Liga and assisting a further ten.
Although the France international's scoring record is not as impressive as Ronaldo's, his work up front is considered to aid the Portuguese in his attacking exploits.
On his way out
As a result of Benitez's decision, the 27-year-old could find himself on his way out of Real Madrid this summer with Manchester United primed to take advantage.
The Red Devils are on the lookout for a new striker this summer and have been linked with a £35m move for the Real Madrid hitman.
Having made the decision to marginalise Benzema from the squad, it will now be up to executive vice chairman Ed Woodward to negotiate a deal.
There is a chance that the Red Devils will attempt to get Benzema included in any deal for David de Gea, who himself is set to move from Old Trafford to the Spanish capital.
However, should Benzema become available, Manchester United are likely to face competition from Arsenal, who have long been linked with a move for him.
Arsene Wenger is a big fan of Benzema and has been backed to sign a world-class striker this summer. There is also an understanding that the player would relish the chance to play under the French manager.
There will be more money on offer at Manchester United, but Arsenal's French influence may be enough to coax him to the Emirates instead.
Gonzalo Higuain has also been linked with a move to both Premier League clubs.
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