Real Madrid spent heavily in the summer of 2019, bringing in the likes of Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic as they looked to mount a push for the La Liga crown.
Los Blancos made a very slow start to the campaign, conceding six goals in their opening four league games before being humiliated 3-0 by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
Zinedine Zidane’s job was at risk unless results improved – and fast.
But Real did turn a corner, soon competing at the top of the league table with Barcelona. Zidane’s men did lose their last league game before football was suspended due to the coronavirus, a 2-1 defeat away to Real Betis. This defeat left them two points behind rivals Barça after 27 games.
With football now suspended indefinitely, 90min has decided to take a look at four key areas Real need to strengthen ahead of next season, as well as expected and/or possible targets for each…
Raphael Varane is an unsung hero for this ?Real Madrid team, and aged just 26, the France World Cup winner will continue to be a key figure in the heart of the defence for years to come -if the club are able to keep hold of him.
He has started 23 of his side’s 27 league games, while his partner in crime, ?Sergio Ramos, has been equally important, starting 25 league games in 2019/20. However, the Spaniard, now 34, ?is at war (again) with the club as he looks to renew his current deal, and while he remains in peak physical condition, Real are seemingly planning for the future.
A move away for the divisive defender can’t be ruled out, but even if he stays, the club should be looking to strengthen in this department. Eder Militao has struggled for game time in 2019/20, but looking ahead, his versatility allows him to play anywhere across the backline. As for Nacho Fernandez, he could be on his way out of the club in the next transfer window.
RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano ?has refused to extend his contract which expires in June 2021, and Zidane is said to have placed the defender at the ?top of his wish list for this summer. The Frenchman could be sold for around
?Casemiro is integral to this Real Madrid side, so much so that he’s actually only failed to start four matches in total in 2019/20. Moreover, the Brazilian’s only failed to play the full 90 minutes in just three La Liga games this season.
The problem for Zidane is that while the likes of Toni Kroos and Fede Valverde can drop in, they aren’t specialists in this area. Los Blancos need a new defensive midfielder to provide some cover, allowing Casemiro to be rested as he is currently being overworked.
Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante could be available, with ?a source confirming to 90min that Real are keeping a close eye on his situation. He could be allowed to leave if their interest is formalised and a suitable offer is made.
Rennes’ teenage wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga is also on Real Madrid’s radar, and his addition would prove beneficial on multiple fronts. Not only is he ready and more than able to provide cover for Casemiro despite being aged just 17, he would also act as a long-term successor to his throne. Any deal would cost around £45m, however.
Brescia’s Sandro Tonali could also be an excellent addition. The youngster’s valuation could be impacted by whether or not his club are relegated from Serie A this season, however. Inter’s Marcelo Brozovic ?has been linked too, and he would bring plenty of experience to the table.
Boubakary Soumaré of Lille is also an option, and he could be brought in as a slightly cheaper alternative at around £35m.
?A source recently confirmed to 90min that ?Luka Modric, Kroos and Isco are all at risk of being sold as Real look to overhaul their ageing midfield, while James Rodriguez also seems set to depart.
Los Blancos’ midfield is filled with supreme talent, players who can weave in and out of tight spaces and link-up play, but there has been a lack of goal contribution from midfield as well as overall creativity. Indeed, Ramos is the club’s second top goalscorer in the league, with Casemiro in third.
Between Kroos, Modric, Valverde and Casemiro, they have only managed 11 assists in La Liga in 2019/20, underlining the problem at hand.
?Paul Pogba’s priority remains to join Real Madrid when the transfer window opens as he is keen to work with Zidane. Of course, the France World Cup winner has been heavily linked with a move to Spain for a while now, but Man Utd’s valuation of Pogba will prove to be a stumbling block.
Another player who is – and has been – very much on Real’s radar is Donny van de Beek of Ajax, who would bring creativity, flair and youth to the midfield. In terms of a versatile midfielder who can play anywhere in midfield, including on either flank, Real will be keen to finally get a deal to bring Fabian Ruiz to the club over the line. ?Around €60m
We’ve had a few supremely talented youngsters already, but how about another? Go on then. Rayan Cherki, aged just 16, has already made a real name for himself, so much so that he’s gained the attention of the Spanish giants and could be an option. 21-year-old Igor Gomes would also be a good addition, and he fits the bill.
But then, Real could also look to within the club if they wanted to strengthen in this department. They could do so by cutting Martin Odegaard‘s loan spell with Real Sociedad short – ?for free as well.
Last season, Luka Jovic was scoring goals for fun, leading to Europe’s elite fighting for his signature. But after a big money move to Real, Jovic has struggled to hit any real form. There’s even talk that he could be offloaded in the next transfer window.
As for first choice striker ?Karim Benzema, he’s now 32 years old and a long-term replacement is required. Mariano likely isn’t the man to fill the void either.
Kylian Mbappe!!! Unfortunately, no, that is not a realistic transfer for the upcoming window.
But instead, let’s start with the ambitious…but still very possible. Erling Haaland only joined Borussia Dortmund in January, but Real have already been linked with a move. A fee of around
RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner has been in sensational form this season, and with a release clause of somewhere in the region of £50m, he represents very good value for money in an inflated transfer market. Elsewhere, Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is continuing to flirt with the idea of leaving north London and should Real come calling, it may prove too good an opportunity to turn down.
Perhaps a slightly less high-profile signing would be Lille’s Victor Osimhen, or Wolves’ star front man Raul Jimenez, who is continuing to impress in the Premier League.
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