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Report: Zinedine Zidane targets €40m Lyon star Ferland Mendy

Benfica v Lyon - International Champions Cup
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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has reportedly made Ferland Mendy a target for the upcoming transfer window as competition for Marcelo.

Zidane has only won half of his eight matches in back in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu. The 46-year-old’s woes only increased last Sunday when Real lost 1-0 to Rayo Vallecano.

Los Blancos’ latest setback has effectively ended hopes of overhauling Atletico Madrid for second-place in La Liga. As things stand, their city rivals are nine points ahead with just three games remaining.

It’s just one of many blows to the Spanish giants this term. The club suffered an early Champions League exit following a stunning comeback by Ajax. Meanwhile, they also fell to a humiliating Copa del Rey semi-final defeat to Barcelona.

As part of the deal to bring him back in March, though, Real president Florentino Perez is expected to back Zidane heavily in the summer transfer market.

The Frenchman is targetting a major overhaul of the squad, with reports suggesting he will have a budget of €500m.

Therefore, Real have been linked to Chelsea’s Eden Hazard along with French World Cup winners Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.

But Marca have reported a new candidate has emerged in French full-back Ferland Mendy. Aside from looking at new attackers, Zidane is apparently aiming to bolster his defensive options.

Mendy has starred for Lyon in Ligue 1 ever since completing a €5m transfer from Le Havre in 2017. The 23-year-old has even contributed towards six goals in 39 appearances for Lyon this season.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 13: Lionel Messi of Barcelona holds off Ferland Mendy of Olympique Lyonnais during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais at Nou Camp on March 13, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Interest in Mendy remains strong, despite a muscle injury sidelining him for the past two weeks. Apparently, Barcelona director Eric Abibal was very keen on signing him last summer to replace the Everton-bound Lucas Digne.

However, a move to Camp Nou failed to materialise with Zidane now expected to make a move for Mendy this summer instead.

Despite Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas only willing to entertain offers in the region of €35m to €40m, Real have allegedly given Zidane the go-ahead.

Therefore, Sergio Reguilon will likely go out on loan for next season. The Spaniard has provided Marcelo with stiff competition, but will get some valuable first-team experience elsewhere instead.

But Marcelo won’t be able to take it easy as Mendy is expected to provide him with a stern challenge for his left-back spot in the team.

The two players have similar physiques, both left-footed, and share similar playing styles. Therefore, Mendy is being touted as a potential long-term successor to Marcelo.

MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 16: Marcelo of Real Madrid in action during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Celta de Vigo at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 16, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)