Real Madrid Transfer News: Yuri Berchiche, Aaron Martin Caricol, Latest Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2017

Las Palmas' midfielder Vicente Gomez (L) vies Real Sociedad's defender Yuri Berchiche (R) during the Spanish league football match UD Las Palmas vs Real Sociedad at the Gran Canaria stadium in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on February 24, 2017. / AFP / DESIREE MARTIN        (Photo credit should read DESIREE MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images)
DESIREE MARTIN/Getty Images

Real Madrid are looking for a second-choice left-back to replace Fabio Coentrao and have narrowed their search to Real Sociedad's Yuri Berchiche and Espanyol's Aaron Martin Caricol. 

That's according to Marca's Juan Ignacio Garcia-Ochoa and Marc Mayo (also reported by OKdiario), as the pair meet Real's criteria of being homegrown, likely to accept a back-up role behind Marcelo and not being overly expensive, as both have €30 million buyout clauses.

Per La Liga writer Andrew Gaffney, the story made Marca's cover:

Coentrao has made just four brief appearances this season totalling 150 minutes on the pitch because of injury, and fitness issues restricted him to just 19 outings in all competitions last year while on loan with AS Monaco.

He also turned 29 earlier this month, so Los Blancos are perhaps wise to seek a replacement for him and provide Marcelo with better cover.

Per Garcia-Ochoa, one target who has seemingly taken a back seat is Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez, who is "no longer a priority," albeit his camp is "still in contact" with the Spanish giants.

Here's a look at how he's compared with Berchiche and Martin this season, per Squawka:

Berchiche vs. Martin vs. Rodriguez 2016-17 League Stats
BerchicheMartinRodriguez
Apps252221
Minutes2,1881,8681,772
Goals202
Assists103
Chances Created181723
Take-Ons32310
Tackles424322
Aerial Duels441528
Interceptions503331
Clearances645655
Pass Completion81%76%83%
Squawka

Rodriguez is the most effective of the trio going forward, while Berchiche has the edge in terms of defensive numbers, though he has played substantially more than the other two.

At 27, Berchiche also has the edge in terms of experience, particularly over 19-year-old Martin.

The youngster still needs to work on his decision-making—especially in the final third, as he can occasionally be guilty of choosing the wrong option or suffering lapses in his passing when higher up the pitch—but he's a highly promising prospect.

Indeed, while Berchiche would be a fairly solid acquisition, Martin would perhaps be the better option as he could not only provide similarly strong cover but also has the potential to improve.

Given his youth, he could also make a strong candidate to become a long-term replacement for Marcelo in the coming years.

Equally, Rodriguez is still only 24 and could be available for just €18 million this summer, according to Garcia-Ochoa, so it could be worth Real rethinking their position on him.

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