The European champions are unlikely to make wholesale changes to their squad ahead of the new season, but with a transfer ban looming, their task is a delicate one.
It is expected to be an interesting summer at the Bernabeu due to Real Madrid’s forthcoming FIFA transfer ban, which will in principle prevent the club from signing players throughout 2017. While everything seems calm after the club lifted the Champions League crown for the 11th time, a turbulent first half of the 2015-16 means that the squad is not as settled as it might seem.
Alvaro Arbeloa will leave Madrid when his contract ends in June, which is the only confirmed move so far.
However, it seems like that several of the players returning to the club on loan could be shipped out. In particular, Lucas Silva had a difficult season at Marseille. Jesus Vallejo, Marco Asensio and Danis Cheryshev all return to the club, but the Russian is wanted once again on loan by Valencia, where he spent the second half of this season.
Fabio Coentrao, meanwhile, returns from Monaco out with a long-term injury that is forecast to see him miss the beginning of the next campaign, which could hamper his sale. Equally, Vallejo and Medran proved injury prone last term.
Real Madrid will sign a left-back, a central midfielder and a striker. While they still cherish David de Gea and see him as a transfer target for the summer, the performances of Keylor Navas mean that he is not at the head of their shopping list. Their ‘Plan A’ included a raft of stars such as Paul Pogba (Juventus), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Dortmund), Robert Lewandowski and David Alaba (both Bayern Munich) but all of these players, with the exception of the Juve midfielder, have renewed their contract this season or are about to do so.
So Plan B is required. There have been plenty of names associated with Madrid in this regard. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) is among them, while in the defence they might try to steal Jose Maria Gimenez from neighbours Atletico Madrid and their left-back option could be Ricardo Rodriguez of Wolfsburg. Equally, they are prospecting the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Christoph Kramer while Leicester duo N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez appear on their radar. Schalke’s Leroy Sane and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard are being tracked. However, there are no deals on the table yet and even formal negotiations have not started.
Madrid will exercise their buy-back option on the contract of Juventus attacker Alvaro Morata but he is very unlikely to stay at the Bernabeu as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema will remain. Instead, Real will sell him on for a profit.
There are numerous players whose future is doubtful due to their poor performances or their own desires after not playing on a regular basis: Kiko Casilla, Ruben Yanez, Danilo, Nacho Fernandez, Raphael Varane, Isco, James Rodriguez, Mateo Kovacic and Jese Rodriguez.
A handful of players more established in Zinedine Zidane’s plans have been linked with other clubs, including Keylor Navas, Pepe and Toni Kroos, all of whom started the Champions League final.
Crucially, though, the BBC combination will remain with the club and Cristiano Ronaldo is close to renewing his contract.
Meanwhile, interim boss Zidane is set to be given the job on a permanent basis after a successful conclusion to the season.
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