La Liga heavyweights Real Madrid are reportedly interested in signing 18-year-old prodigious Croatian striker Roko Simic from Red Bull Salzburg.

According to a report by Spanish publication MARCA, Roko Simic has popped up on Real Madrid’s radar over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The 18-year-old prodigious Red Bull Salzburg striker has emerged as a potential alternative to Erling Haaland, who will join Manchester City in July.

Roko Simic spent his formative years at three clubs before graduating from Lokomotiva Zagreb a couple of years ago. But the teenage prodigy did not spend much time at the Croatian club, joining Red Bull Salzburg last summer before moving to sister club FC Liefering.

The 18-year-old has fared decently at Liefering, amassing 17 goals and three assists in 22 outings in the 2. Liga. Simic has also raked in seven goals and three assists in nine UEFA Youth League games and reached the final with Red Bull Salzburg before losing to Benfica at the last hurdle. The player’s progress has not gone unnoticed, with one of the biggest clubs in Europe – Real Madrid – setting sights on him.

The interest from Real Madrid stems from the rising uncertainties surrounding the futures of Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz. While Jovic could return to Bundesliga amid links with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, Mariano has recently emerged on the radar of Fenerbahce and could move to Turkey.

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As a result, several strikers have popped up on Real Madrid’s radar, with Simic viewed as a viable target. The 18-year-old prodigious Red Bull Salzburg striker could initially learn the ropes from Real Madrid talisman Karim Benzema before taking over from the Frenchman as his long-term successor in a few years.

So while Real Madrid missed out on signing Erling Haaland, who will move to Manchester City in July, they can bring in a more ideal successor to Benzema, considering the Frenchman can still offer his services for a few more years. Apart from Simic, a few other young strikers are also on Real Madrid’s radar.

Endrick, Youssoufa Moukoko and Henrique Araujo have also been linked with Real Madrid and will be in contention to join Los Blancos in the summer transfer window. As for Simic, it is likely that he will further his growth at Salzburg following Karim Adeyemi’s move to Borussia Dortmund before eventually moving to bigger and better things.

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