Real Madrid seem certain to spend heavily to boost Zinedine Zidane’s squad and try to close the growing gap to LaLiga rivals Barcelona.
Zidane has indicated he will not be afraid to overhaul an ageing team that ended the campaign third, 19 points behind Barca, after a 2-0 home loss to Real Betis on Sunday.
Gareth Bale was an unused substitute against Betis, with his future seemingly certain to be away from the Santiago Bernabeu, while goalkeeper Keylor Navas is also expected to leave.
But how could Madrid’s squad look ahead of the 2019-20 season? Omnisport takes a look at the likely arrivals and departures for Los Blancos.
IN: Eder Militao, Luka Jovic, Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Neymar, Eden Hazard?
Madrid have already sealed a deal for Porto centre-back Militao, boosting an increasingly leaky defence that shipped 46 league goals last term. Reports in Germany have claimed Jovic will soon follow, with the Serbia striker – previously linked with Barcelona – set to leave Eintracht Frankfurt despite only completing his permanent transfer from Benfica earlier this year.
Former coach Fabio Capello has said Madrid have €500million to spend, so Zidane can afford to be ambitious with his targets. Pogba has long been linked with the club and despite being Manchester United’s top goalscorer in the Premier League this term, he could be allowed to leave.
Mbappe would be a classic Madrid ‘Galactico’ signing and he signalled he would be open to leaving Paris Saint-Germain when he collected both the Ligue 1 Best Player and Best Young Player of the Year prizes at the National Union of Professional Footballers’ awards on Sunday. Mbappe would likely cost a world-record fee, with Neymar another top-tier player potentially on the move.
The former Barca attacker has reportedly failed to settle in the French capital and he could be Madrid’s next superstar after last year’s surprise sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, but Madrid’s long-term interest in Eden Hazard – who has a year left on his Chelsea contract – may scupper a potential deal for the Brazil star.
Even with a vast amount of cash to splash, it is hard to see Madrid bringing in four new attackers in Hazard, Jovic, Mbappe and Neymar, while PSG – regardless of doubts over their financial situation – would surely not allow both of their forwards to leave in the same transfer window.
OUT: Gareth Bale, Keylor Navas, Isco, Marcelo, Raphael Varane, Luka Modric?
The level of spending at Madrid during the close-season will partly depend on who they can sell, with Bale a prime candidate to be moved on. Zidane’s lack of trust in the Wales forward is no secret, even though Bale scored twice in last year’s Champions League final defeat of Liverpool in Kiev. Bale cost what was then a world record £85m when he joined from Tottenham but his huge wages, coupled with a short list of potential suitors, could be a problem. Reports in Spain have indicated Bale is willing to see out the remaining three years of his contract.
Another key member of the Madrid team that won three Champions League titles in a row in Zidane’s first spell, goalkeeper Navas is expected to be sold after last year’s arrival of Thibaut Courtois, with the current boss said to be keen to make son Luca his number two option with the gloves.
Isco seemed certain to depart when he was out of favour before Santiago Solari’s sacking, while Marcelo could also be allowed to leave due to the breakthrough season enjoyed by left-back Sergio Reguilon. But Toni Kroos is staying put after signing a new four-year deal with the club. PSG were linked with a treble swoop for Kroos, Isco and Bale, so the latter two players could be used as potential makeweights in a deal for either Mbappe or Neymar.
At the back, Zidane has said Raphael Varane will stay but with Juventus reported to be interested in the World Cup winner, a big offer could tempt Madrid to sell. Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric, meanwhile, was previously linked with Inter and had a poor second half of the season.
POTENTIAL MADRID XI FOR 2019-20
Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Eder Militao, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Paul Pogba; Kylian Mbappe, Luka Jovic, Eden Hazard.