Real eye defensive duo

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REAL MADRID boss Carlos Queiroz has identified Sporting Lisbon centre back Beto as his primary defensive target.

Queiroz is well aware of the 27-year-old's qualities still having strong contacts at Sporting, a club he managed between 1994 and 1996.

He sees Beto as the ideal candidate to reinforce the heart of Real's defence which will have a new look next term after the club's decision to release former skipper Fernando Hierro.

Real are believed to have checked on the highly-rated Portuguese international in past seasons, but now look set to firm up their interest after Queiroz's recommendation.

However, reports in South America are suggesting that Los Meringues are planning a swoop for Independiente defender Gabriel Milito.

The highly-rated stopper had been linked with a move to city adversaries Atletico and also newly-promoted Zaragoza, but it seems Real are ready to head off their Primera rivals.

Independiente are asking ‚é¼5.5 million (£3.5 million) for the 22-year-old, whereas Real are not prepared to top ‚é¼4 million (£2.5 million) for his signature, but an official at the Argentine outfit has claimed that talks between the two parties are ongoing.

"Conversations are intense. I think that the matter will be resolved favourably," the official stated.

If Real ultimately fail to bring in a new centre back this summer, the club plan to play the versatile Geremi in the role to partner Ivan Helguera.