Real Madrid transfers 2017/18: How Zidane will set his team up next season
Real Madrid are, as always, on the lookout for massive transfer deals. A number of quality options are being linked, as Zinedine Zidane looks to build on the amazing success he has enjoyed at the Santiago Bernabeu since replacing Rafa Benitez in January 2016.
The Frenchman, a former Real player and relative novice as a coach, has won La Liga and the Champions League twice, helping the club become the first side to defend that title in the competition’s current format, during his reign, and could be looking at a summer of massive spending to ensure his triumphs don’t stop there.
Here is how Real Madrid could line up next season if their transfer plans all work out as desired.
Goalkeeper – David de Gea
Los Blancos’ interest in the Manchester United goalkeeper is no secret, having almost closed out a deal to sign him in 2015 only for a paperwork issue to scupper it at the latest of dates.
The 26-year-old has proven himself as a world-class stopper on countless occasions during some tricky times for the Red Devils, who haven’t won the Premier League since 2013 and only reached the Champions League twice in the last four years.
Things may be looking up under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, but according to the Daily Express, de Gea still yearns for a move back to his homeland with Real.
Left back – Marcelo
A mainstay in the side for most of the last decade, Marcelo has truly lived up to the billing as the ‘new Roberto Carlos’. He has improved defensively, changing his reputation from erratic to cultured, but he will always be seen as an excellent attacking full back.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better one in the world right now.
Centre back – Sergio Ramos
Simply put, Sergio Ramos has become Mr Real Madrid since Iker Casillas vacated that title upon his departure in 2015. The Spain defender embodies everything in a ‘Madridista’, including a hatred of Barcelona.
His late goals in huge games, notably the 2014 Champions League final, show just how vital he is to the team and there is no way Zidane will be lining up without his captain next season, not even if Manchester United call as they did two years ago.
Centre back – Raphael Varane
When Varane arrived in 2011, it was clear he had a bright future in the game. Tall, strong and quick, he tempers his physical traits with great footballing intelligence and positioning.
But he has been frustrated for long periods of his Real career because of a lack of first team football. All too often, Pepe and Ramos would play at the back, but now the former has left for Besiktas, Varane should have no problems beating off competition for his place in the team.
Right back – Dani Carvajal
Other than Danilo, who was signed from FC Porto in 2015 for £32million, Dani Carvajal has no real threat to his place in the side. The Spaniard returned from a spell in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen in 2013 and has never really looked back.
Danilo is expected to leave Real this summer, leaving Carvajal as the only main option for Zidane down the right hand side of the defence.
2014: James: "Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world"— Robin (@Dybalance) July 12, 2017
2017: James: "Bayern is one of the 3 biggest clubs in the world"
Love u James pic.twitter.com/qjJ7FeotIo
Centre midfield – Luka Modric
Modric joined Real Madrid in 2012 from Tottenham in a deal which raised a lot of eyebrows in Spain, but the Croat has shown that he is among the best midfielders in the world ever since.
Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and his former Spurs teammate Gareth Bale have all thanked him for his ability to set up attacks and dictate the play in the past, and although he is over 30, he should continue to do so for a little while yet.
Centre midfield – Toni Kroos
Part of the reason Modric has become such a vital player in Madrid is his partnership with Toni Kroos. Although the German has a great passing range too, he is more energetic than Modric and solidifies the midfield a bit more, especially when Casemiro is not playing.
Kroos came in at a crucial time in 2014, when Angel Di Maria, the man then boss Carlo Ancelotti had spent months moulding into the perfect central midfielder, left for Manchester United to make room for the incoming and now also departed James Rodriguez.
Centre attacking midfield – Isco
Depending on the situation, Zidane has the option of complimenting his usual midfield generals with an attacking player, in Isco, or defensive, Casemiro.
Giving consideration to Madrid’s need to dominate the play and attack, Isco is the choice. His performances last season, particularly in the Champions League final, show that he could become indispensible, despite being on the fringes alongside James for long periods.
Left wing – Cristiano Ronaldo
There are no words that do this man justice. He is a complete and utter goal machine and the ultimate big game player, even if his overall contributions are slipping as he gets older.
Real’s talisman and all-time top goalscorer, Ronaldo, 32, is vital to this team even now. There was speculation he could leave this summer after a row about a tax probe, but he is set to stay and break further records in Spain.
Right wing – Eden Hazard
After a monumentally poor campaign in 2015/16, Hazard recaptured his form for Chelsea under Antonio Conte last season in inspiring the Blues to the Premier League title.
He is interesting Zidane, which could spell bad news for Bale, and there have been reports in The Sun suggesting the Belgian has already agreed a deal to become the first £100million in the history of world football this summer.
Striker – Kylian Mbappe
At just 18 years of age, Mbappe has shaken the football world over the past year or so. The Monaco man helped his side to the Ligue 1 title and Champions League semi finals, scoring 21 goals.
Understandably, his club want to keep him, putting a £130million price tag on his head. The Daily Mail, though, say Real are very much interested in football’s hottest commodity.