Transfer markets witness a great deal of activity among the biggest clubs in Europe and perhaps the biggest of them all when it comes to the biggest signings in the football world right now is definitely Real Madrid. Now, what is surprising now is that Los Blancos had barely any part to play in the last concluded summer transfer window with the most significant signing was bring the on-loan Alvaro Morata back to Madrid from Serie A giants Juventus along with striker Lucas Silva from Marseille. However, the two transfer window ban imposed on Los Blancos by FIFA does have a part to play in it, where the Spanish Club banned from signing any new players till January 2018.The club contested a decision by world football’s governing body to punish them for breaching rules over the transfer of foreign players under 18.The next two transfer windows are in January 2017 and the summer of the same year. It means the clubs will not be able to register new players until 2018.
Nevertheless, we know Perez to be an impatient man. And considering the fact that the team is not performing to its highest potential as of yet, the Real Madrid boss might look to enforce some changes in Zinedine Zidane’s squad. With injury concerns and a host of young prospect warming the bench on most occasions, there is no doubt that once the ban dissolves, something huge is going to go down at the Bernabeu and we will see Fiorentino Perez flaunt his massive transfer window budget to remodel a squad which Manager Zidane has said to close to the “Galactico” era.
Here is look at the majorReal Madrid’s transfer rumours and Speculations which have cropped up very recently and how believable or logical these rumours are.
Isco : Out?
Spanish midfielder Isco, who had been warming the bench for quite some time for Zidane, finally got his break due to the injury sustained by Los Blancos’s regular midfielders Toni Kroos and Casemiro. And he did not fail to impress. The midfielder started against city rivals Atletico and was the highlight of Real’s 3-0 victory at the Calderon propelling Zidane to consider including him in the Clasico against Barcelona. With less than 18 months left on his contract with Los Blancos, the club has expressed their interest to add Isco to the list of players they have opted to negotiate contract terms with. But, according to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, the playmaker is set to turn down the La Liga giants’ offer amid concerns over his playing time. With reasons Viable enough, the Spain International has expressed concerns over his place in the team after Kroos and Casemiro returns for injury and is reportedly exploring new options to choose from, especially from the Premier League clubs.United boss Jose Mourinho signed Isco during his time at Madrid and it seems that the Portuguese still has an interest to sign the player again with both United and Spurs have been keeping a close eye on the Spaniard.
Transfer Rumour Believability: Low
Isco has already been worth a lot of money for Madrid as the Spanish giants roped him in from Malaga for€30 million back in 2013 and at 24, still remains one of the best prospects for the future. Zinedine Zidane will definitely give his best efforts into keeping the Spaniard at the Bernabeu and keeping in mind his current form, we might see the midfielder feature more for Madrid before he embarks into talks of a new contract with the club.
James Rodriguez: Out?
Before the start of the season,coach Zinedine Zidane has warned presidentFlorentino Perezhe sees little chance ofJames Rodriguezmaking a significant contribution this season. Injuries to a lot of the players in Madrid’s starting line-up, however, compelled the Frenchman to give playing minutes to the Colombian. James came to the Bernabeu fresh from an eye-catching display in the 2014 World cup in Brazil, and Carlo Ancelotti who was the Los Blancos at that point of time seemed to consider the Colombian as a very exciting and potential prospect in his Madrid side. Nevertheless, James did perform in quite a few games scoring a total of 20 goals in 55 appearances for the Real Madrid but couldn’t seem to assume the role of a potential game-changer as what was expected from him.
The arrival of Toni Kroos at Madrid and Zinedine Zidane playing his preferred 4-3-3 with Madrid indirectly spoke about James’s future at the Bernabeu and the Colombian might just be heading for an exit soon. Since the last few months, Wenger’s Arsenal have been linked with the attacking midfielder, while offers were made – and left on the table – byManchester UnitedandWest Ham United as well. The last transfer window which ended in August saw United prepare a €40 million for James, while the Hammers’s undisclosed bid was higher.
Transfer Rumour Believability: High
There have been countless incidents before where world class players have come to the Santiago Bernabeu but have perished qualitatively due to a significant lack fo playing time owing to Real Madrid’s star-studded line up and it seems that the 25 Year old Colombian midfielder ‘s best bet is to actually move to a different club. With Premier league clubs hot on his heels, James will surely be involved in a deal soon which will allow him significant playing minutes in the middle of the park except for warming the bench.
Update (November 24, 2016):Sport‘s Alejandro Alcazar reports Rodriguez is eyeing a January exit, with manager Zinedine Zidane continuing to select other players over the Colombian despite the rash of injuries in Real’s midfield. Players in the likes of Isco and Kovacic have got a significant piece of playing time in the absence of the regulars and have fit on more into Zidane’s plans than the Colombian. Since his signing back in 2014, James has grown to become a backup player for Los Blancos in recent times and considering the fact that the midfielder had been pegged as one of the most exciting prospects back then, it is definitely in the best interest of the club to let him consider his options outside.
At least that is what both the Colombian and his Club manager thinks.
Aaron Ramsey : In?
According to reports, it seems that Zinedine Zidane is keen on adding another Welshman to his side, the player being Gareth Bale’s National team-mate and Arsenal player Aaron Ramsey. Keeping in mind the transfer ban which will prevent him from signing any new players till 2018, the French manager has already been reported to have the midfielder on his list of acquisitions post the upliftment of the transfer ban. Ramsey had been one of the most influential players for the Gunners but the Welshman’s proneness to injury has hampered his career chances quite a few times in the past. Ramsey put up an impressive display of football in the Euro 2016 finals earlier this month alongside Gareth Bale and it seems like a reunion is on the cards for both the Wales Players.
According to the Sun, Real are confident of persuading Ramsey to leave Arsenal with a substantial contract offer, much more than his 90k-a-week deal at the Emirates and are planning on lining up a stunning 25m offer for Ramsey. The midfielder might also just prove to be an effective addition toZidane’s side with a 25-year-old being a very strong runner with the ball which will be in perfect sync with the squad Zidane is putting up pacey players in the middle of the park.
Transfer Rumour Believability: High
Real Madrid president has reportedly given Zidane the green light to line up transfer requests to strengthen the midfield of Los Blancos and the Frenchman already has Ramsey on his list. The primary concern regarding the Believability of the rumours regarding Madrid is the transfer ban but we hardly think that a one year ban would deal any major blows to Real Madrid’s signing spree.The Spanish giants are in the process of preparing the documents and are confident of winning the case and who know, by the time the next season starts we might just see Ramsey and Bale lining up together for Los Blancos.
Thibaut Courtois : In?
Madrid have been looking for a specialist keeper since a long time and has United shot-stopper David de Gea on their wishlist but found a worthy replacement in Keylor Navas who had an exceptional run of form last season. However, the Los Blancos goalkeeper did undergo injury concerns a few days back and Kiko Casilla as the stand-in keeper had issues of his own in the game. Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois revealed in September that he would like to return to La Liga in the future, having spent three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid and since then there have been a substantial amount of rumours regarding the Belgian coming to the Bernabeu.
Transfer Rumour Believability: Low
There has been no official word regarding this so far with the Chelsea keeper remaining tight-lipped on the situation denying any advancements by Madrid so far. With the transfer ban, Los Blancos’s potential transfer wishlist seems to be very vague as of now, but Courtois is reportedly happy at the Stamford Bridge and is not looking to move anywhere in the near future.
Pepe : Out?
According to sources, Manchester United boss reportedly wants to reunite with his fellow countryman Pepe by bringing him to the Old Trafford soon in the Winter transfer Window. As per Spanish publication Marca,the veteran centre back’s contract expires in the summer and there have been no talks of a contract renewal with Los Blancos as of yet with talks of the defender gearing up to leave the Bernabeu are increasing. Pepe has been an integral part of Madrid’s central defence along with team-mate Sergio Ramos and had a tremendous Euro 2016 campaign in France. The defender, often criticised for his aggression on the field and reckless tackles have also been hailed as one of the best interceptors of aerial balls in the past couple of seasons. However, injury concerns in the past had compelled Madrid to find a replacement for him in form of the towering Raphael Varane who impressed the Madrid bosses to a very large extent and therefore does pose a very strong threat to Pepe’s position at the heart of the Madrid defence.
Update(November 16, 2016): Raphael Varane has already expressed his plans to stay at Madrid till the end of his career and club captain Sergio ramos is also on the verge of signing a contract extension with the whites. This being the case, we could see the Portuguese defender leave Madrid for United hypothetically, considering Zidane would not want three fully fit in-form centre backs in his squad. Even if Pepe does end up leaving Madrid for United, we can be sure that it will not be in the forthcoming transfer window and Mourinho will just have to wait for the right time to put in a transfer request for his fellow countryman.
According to latest reports, Chelsea have also shown interest in the central defender which does not come as a surprise as Chelsea manager Antonio Conte does prefer to play in a formation having three experienced central defenders at the back (Remember his Juventus days where he used to play a back three defense line-up.
Transfer Rumour Believability: Low
Pepe has expressed interests to stay with the club until he’s 36, but Los Blancos reportedly won’t offer the 33-year-old more than a one-year contract extension. The defender is seeking a two-year offer, according to Marcawhich might or might not pan out. But there is little chance that Los Blancos will let this technically gifted central defender go just yet considering the fact that Young Varane is still mistake prone and Sergio Ramos’s injury concerns have been a significant area of concern for manager Zinedine Zidane of late.
Update (November 24, 2016):According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, an official announcement of a new, two-year contract for Pepe should arrive shortly, with the veteran agreeing to the new deal. The 33 year-old has reportedly opened up with his talks with Los Blancos for a deal which will see the defender stay at the club since at least till he is 35.
Riyad Mahrez : In?
Riyad Mahrez was probably one of the key talismans of Leicester City’s historic Premier League acquisition was named the Premier League Player of the Season. The Algerian international’s performance had grabbed quite a number of eyeballs with a number of big clubs lining up offers for the explosive attacking midfielder and among them, Real Madrid will probably be the Leicester midfielder’s pick if he’s moving anyway, that is.
During an interview with Goal, Mahrez gave an interesting response to the question of who is the best manager in the world (viaThomas McIlroy of Daily Star):
“In England, it is our manager [Claudio Ranieri] and, in the world, I would say Zidane because he won the Champions League.”
Mahrez has been nominated for the shortlist pertaining to the Ballon d’Or award in January and the nomination enough speaks clearly of the fact that he is already a force to be reckoned with. Mahrez has been an integral part of Leicester’s squad and has been phenomenal on the right-hand side of the pitch from countless occasions. Madrid’s interest in the midfielder do seem vague as of now primarily due to the fact that there is no significant first team position which can be offered to the midfielder with Los Blancos’s current roster of players. However, Mahrez’s interest in playing under Zidane would not go unnoticed by the Frenchman and club President Fiorentino Perez will definitely have the Algerian on his wishlist as soon as the transfer ban on the whites are lifted.
Transfer Rumour Believability: Low.
Mahrez signed a bumper new four-year deal at the King Power Stadium which will make it literally impossible for almost every club to rope the Algerian out of England. But then this general statement can never be held in relation with the mighty Real Madrid can it?It will cost a pretty penny to pay Mahrez out of his current contract with Leicester City, while finding a place for the Algerian in Real’s setup is rather difficult with the likes of talents like James Rodriguez, Alvaro Morata and Isco still spending the match nights warming the bench.
Sergio Aguero : In?
Real Madrid transfer rumours nowadays are involving a lot around Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero. The Spanish giants have been in the hunt for a copybook number 9 for a while new with many talks of Aubemeyang or Lewandoski in the earlier transfer window. Los Blancos’ attack, the Bale-Benzema-Cristiano combo has been yielding mixed results in the past and that might just have propelled Zidane to look into the matter seriously now. Aguero has been on fire for City in the last couple of seasons and it seems that the Real Madrid manager has probably narrowed his choices down to the Argentinefor a more compact front three line-up.
Aguero has vowed to finish his career back in his homeland with Independiente, but negative speculation over his relationship with Etihad boss Pep Guardiola has been noted at the Bernabeu, especially Fiorentino Perez of course. The striker was dropped by Guardiola when City was drubbed at the Nou Camp although he did play a significant role at the return leg win at the Etihad.
Nevertheless, Madrid do seem obstinate according to many reports and hints to the media, considering the fact that ex-Atletico Madrid striker still has 3 years left in his contract at the Etihad. Hailed as a potential replacement for Karim Benzema, Aguero can offer multiple roles of play to Zidane’s side with the striker’s pace does see him double up as a winger on necessary occasions which might very much wellsuited to Zidane’s needs considering the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo is slowly hit the 32 age mark.
Transfer Rumour Believability: Low.
Manchester City will definitely not part with Aguero without a proper fight and Guardiola will do anything to keep the Argentine at the Etihad for a couple more seasons. His existing contract still has a number of years left and if Fiorentino Perez does decide to go for Aguero post the transfer ban, he would perhaps have to shell out another record-breaking sum of money from his transfer budget.
According to Bleacher Report, Sergio Aguero has rejected speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid and revealed he plans to return to boyhood club Independiente when his time with the Sky Blues is up.
Pierre-EmerickAubemeyang : In?
Another in-form striker, Aubemeyang has all the virtues required to be a vital part of a Madrid sign which is known for its quick counter attacks and the Dortmund winger has been at the base of Real Madrid’s transfer rumours quite a few times now. The pacy winger scored the Champions League group stage fixture at Los Blancos and that seems to have caught the eye of both Zidane and Perez. Another tactical prospect which seems to have caught Zidane’s attention is the fact that the Dortmund player’s pace seem to be on an equal level as to that of Bale and Ronaldo. Something which Benzema lacked marginally. The idea of a 4-3-3 counter attacking formation with Bale and Aubemeyang on the wings and Ronaldo playing number 9 might just be the base of perhaps the fastest attacking trio in modern day football.
And this is also one player who has already opened up about his interest for Los Blancos.
He told L’Equipe this year: “My childhood dream was to play for Real Madrid.
“I promised my grandfather, who was from Avila some 110 kilometres away from Madrid, that I would play there. I realise that it will not be easy, but is always in the back of my mind.”
And the striker’s commitment to this promise is serious. However, whether this would happen soon is what is left to be seen.
Transfer Rumour Believability: Moderate
Aubemeyang is still moderately young and learning and might just be of Los Blancos type. But Madrid might just opt to wait out at least a year and explore more options as they wait for the Dortmund player to reach his prime playing days. A habit they have had in the past too.
Julian Weigl : In?
There is not a single doubt that the next Defensive midfielder signed by Los Blancos will not be a full-time first squad signing, with Casemiro blending perfectly into Zidane’s midfield tactics. However, with the CDM injured with a fracture, the Frenchman does seem to have problems at the middle of the park with his centre halves being exposed on multiple occasions. And Julian Weigl, Dortmund’s creative defensive midfielder might just be the answer to Madrid’s CDM woes. The 20-year-old German midfielder has made a significant mark at Dortmund and was the highlight of ascintillating performance against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League group stage.
The youngster. hailed by some as Ronaldo 2.0 as adept at creating chances with strong vision on and off the ball which might remind Perez a bit of Xabi Alonso at the Bernabeu. Madrid had Weigl on their shortlist before the transfer ban pinned on them by FIFA which disallowed them to go forward with any potential request for the German back in August.
Madrid to learn Fifa transfer ban verdict within 48 hours. Linked with Dortmund’s Julian Weigl this morning https://t.co/En1pgkbLiy
— Ed Aarons (@ed_aarons) August 12, 2016
However with CDM woes a major concern for Zidane right now, Perez would still have probably have Weigl on his wishlist when the transfer ban lifts in January and might hope to rope in the German International by the summer transfer window.
Transfer Rumour Believability: Moderate
Weigl’s performance in the Champions League group stage fixture against Sporting put him on the list of players Dortmund planned a wage hike for and it is in talks that the German Club plan to offer him a contract expansion agreement which would keep him in Germany long enough to ward off any big transfer request from the Big Clubs.
But Perez being Perez has the money. We all know that.