Real Madrid is reportedly tracking Leicester City and Nigeria midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, who is a target for Manchester United, at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
According to a report from Defensa Central, Real Madrid has sent scouts to keep tabs on Leicester City midfielder Ndidi, who is currently representing Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The 25-year-old is also a target for Manchester United.
Ndidi joined Leicester in January 2017 and has grown into one of the most reliable central defenders in the Premier League over the years.
The former KRC Genk starlet has been key to the Foxes establishing themselves as a regular contender for European football, racking up 196 appearances for the club to date.
A regular for the Nigerian national team, Ndidi has 43 appearances for the Super Eagles and is currently representing them in Cameroon.
And, Real Madrid, who have been long-term admirers of the midfielder, have scouts present at the tournament to monitor his performances, as per the report.
It is claimed that the Merengue’s ‘scout was in attendance in Nigeria’s first game of the competition against Egypt, in which Ndidi performed admirably to help his team to a 1-0 victory.
Los Blancos intend to bring in a new defensive midfielder to provide cover for Casemiro and eventually replace the Brazilian international as the anchorman in the middle of the park at the Santiago Bernabeu.
There has been interest in players like Kalvin Phillips and Franck Kessie, but Ndidi is a player that manager Carlo Ancelotti admires greatly and wants to sign in the summer transfer window.
So, it should not come as a surprise that Real Madrid is watching his progress at the AFCON as they look to launch a swoop for him later this year.
However, the La Liga giants will have to stave off competition from Manchester United, who are also intent on signing Ndidi.
The Red Devils are in the market for a proper defensive midfielder, having lacked such a presence in the side for a while.
Nemanja Matic has regressed and is in the final phase of his career, while Fred and Scott McTominay have been unable to perform consistently enough either.
Ralf Rangnick has been pushing to sign Amadou Haidara to address the issue.
But Ndidi, given his proven pedigree in the Premier League, would be a better option for the 20-time English champions.
However, the report adds that the Nigerian international is excited by the possibility of signing for Real Madrid, which could leave Manchester United at a disadvantage in the race to sign him.
On the recommendation of Jose Mourinho, Manchester United attempted to sign the Super Eagles star prior to his switch to Leicester City in January 2017 but the Board dragged their feet to get the deal done.
The Red Devils have not yet firmed up their interest in Ndidi by making a concrete offer to Leicester City and no real contact has been made between the parties.
The 24-year-old has less than three years to run on his contract with the Foxes and is valued in the region of 60 million euros by transfer market experts.
Ndidi has seven goals and ten assists in 152 appearances in the English Premier League.