Transfer News: Real Madrid ace Antonio Blanco on Espanyol’s radar; Jesus Vallejo eyed by Real Betis

Real Madrid midfield prospect Antonio Blanco is a loan target for RCD Espanyol while Jesus Vallejo is being pursued by another La Liga club in Real Betis.

According to a report from Spanish publication Fichajes, Real Madrid youngster Antonio Blanco has emerged as a loan transfer target for newly-promoted La Liga club RCD Espanyol for the January window.

Blanco is a product of Real Madrid’s La Fabrica youth setup, having joined the academy in 2013 from Seneca. The 21-year-old defensive midfielder has made impressive progression through the ranks at the club and is currently the captain of the club’s Castilla outfit, for whom he has made 43 appearances, scoring one goal and setting up three more.

Blanco made his first-team debut for Real Madrid in April earlier this year under then-manager Zinedine Zidane and made quite the positive impression in his four appearances before the end of the 2020/21 season. However, game-time has been much harder to come for the 21-year-old in the new campaign under Carlo Ancelotti.

Indeed, Blanco finds himself behind the likes of Casemiro, Federico Valverde, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in the midfield pecking order while new signing Eduardo Camavinga has only served to push him further down. As a result, the youngster has been restricted to just the solitary appearance which was a 30-minute cameo against Mallorca.

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Considering that his situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon, there is the possibility of Real Madrid loaning him out during the January transfer window and Espanyol are interested. The newly-promoted La Liga outfit are hoping to build a strong team to survive the drop back to the second division.

The Catalan outfit enjoy a healthy relationship with Real Madrid and hoping to use it to sign Blanco on a temporary basis for the rest of the season. A move could serve well for all parties involved.

Real Madrid defender Jesus Vallejo on Real Betis’ radar

Moving on from Real Madrid youngster to another, defender Jesus Vallejo is another player who could be on his way out in January, with Real Betis plotting a loan swoop for the 24-year-old, reports Fichajes.

At the club since 2015, when he signed from boyhood club Real Zaragoza, Vallejo has spent the majority of his time with Los Blancos out on loan. Indeed, the centre-back has had temporary stints with Zaragoza, Eintracht Frankfurt, Wolves and Granada, where he spent the last season and a half before returning to Madrid in the summer.

Having been retained in the squad owing to the departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, the Spaniard is yet to make even a single appearance this season. With Ancelotti preferring Eder Militao, David Alaba and Nacho Fernandez, and the club exploring the possibility of adding another centre-half in January, Vallejo could be forced to consider his options.

And, as per the report, fellow La Liga club, Real Betis could provide him with an escape route, as Manuel Pellegrini seeks to add another defender to his squad at the Benito Villamarin. Vallejo still has four years left on his contract with Real Madrid and a good stint on loan can allow them to cash in on the defender for a healthy fee in the summer transfer window of next year.

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