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Real Madrid cool January striker search despite Icardi & Piatek interest

10:40 GMT 16/01/2019
Mauro Icardi Krzysztof Piatek Inter Genoa
The European champions are still trying to find a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, but that is likely going to have to wait for the summer window

Real Madrid are set to pull back in their search for a striker during the January transfer window despite showing an interest in both Mauro Icardi and Krzysztof Piatek.

Goal  understands that the Blancos considered bringing in a focal point for their forward line during the winter window as they continue to find a long-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

But, with Karim Benzema not requiring surgery on a broken finger and viable options slim, the Blancos hierarchy look set to stick with what they have for the second half of the season.

Icardi remains a player who interests the Santiago Bernabeu outfit, with the Argentina international one of few proven number nines playing in Europe's top five leagues who are under the age of 30.

The 25-year-old has scored 14 goals in 23 appearances for Inter this season having been named Serie A's top goalscorer last term, but he continues to stall on signing a new contract.

His wife and agent, Wanda Nara, does not have a particularly amicable relationship with the Inter board, and as such negotiations over improved terms for the Barcelona academy product have not been fruitful.

Icardi has vowed to remain loyal as a client to Nara, despite pressure from media and fans to make a change in his representation, while a fine picked up for returning late from his winter holiday has added further fuel to the rumours he wants to leave San Siro.

Madrid, however, are not willing to pay what would likely be a huge asking price for Icardi when a release clause in his current deal would allow him to depart for €110 million (£97.5m/$125.5m) for a two-week period from July 1.

Piatek, meanwhile, has emerged as a target after a breakout season in Serie A for Genoa.

The Poland international - dubbed the 'next Robert Lewandowski' - has scored 19 goals in 21 appearances this season, with only Ronaldo outscoring him in the Italian top flight.

Madrid have been monitoring the 23-year-old's progress, but it now seems as if AC Milan are set to sign Piatek on either a permanent deal or a loan until the end of the campaign with the obligation to buy.

Either way the move is likely to cost the Rossoneri between €40-45m, and Madrid would be unwilling to match that for a player who is yet to even complete a full season in one of Europe's top five leagues.

Milan are rather more desperate, however, with Gonzalo Higuain keen to leave for Chelsea and it now unlikely that Alvaro Morata would move in the opposite direction as part of the deal.

So, Madrid are set to keep their powder dry during the January market, though with the likes of Eden Hazard and Kylian Mbappe more viable targets for the summer, it is unlikely 2019 will go by without Florentino Perez finding a Ronaldo replacement.