The Bernabeu side are rarely shy when it comes to spending money and with the club sitting third in the La Liga, they are in desperate need of some impetus. Will Florentino Perez splash the cash to kick-start Real’s season?
Real Madrid are one of the world’s splashiest clubs in the transfer market. In fact, on the last four occasions that the world transfer record has been broken, it’s been the Bernabeu club doing it.
But as much as they make the big moves that shake football, it rarely happens to be in January.
This year would make more sense than ever, with the club sitting in third in La Liga and in desperate need of some impetus going into the second half of the season.
But what does January have in store for Madrid?
Which areas need strengthening?
Looking at this squad it is hard not to conclude that it’s one of the strongest, if not the strongest, in world football.
The quality at every position is frightening and the depth is there too. Players like Isco would be starters in virtually any other side on the planet yet are squeezed into bit-part roles, but there are areas that the club may begin to look at.
The left-back position has little strength beyond Marcelo, with Nacho the current first reserve actually being a central defender by trade. Finding someone young to one day take over from Marcelo is something in the works but may not be so important as to push through this month.
Both at centre-back and centre-forward the club may start looking to the future too, with Pepe not getting any younger and question marks over the future of three key attackers.
But it remains unlikely we’ll see major first-team additions in mid-season.
How much money is available?
How long is a piece of string? If Florentino Perez wanted to go out and blow the big load on a player then he would (and indeed often does) but it’s more a question of need.
Robert Lewandowski is the man they want for the summer as question marks surface over whether Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale will be at the Bernabeu next season.
The perfect young left-back for them would be Valencia’s Jose Luis Gaya, but he’s a first-teamer there and would not be cheap. That said, spending €30million on a back-up left-back is the sort of thing only Real Madrid could and would do.
The only players out of Real Madrid’s reach appear to be those who play for Barcelona.
It seems impossible to imagine the likes of Lionel Messi ‘doing a Figo’ and crossing the unspeakable divide that exists between the two clubs – although it reportedly hasn’t stopped Florentino Perez persistently ringing Neymar’s father recently.
If Bayern play hard ball and Lewandowski becomes impossible then they would have to ‘settle’ for someone like Paulo Dybala, Mauro Icardi or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It’s tough being Real Madrid.
Who could be sold?
We’re more likely to see people heading out of the Bernabeu than coming into it.
Plenty of players have been frustrated by a lack of first-team action under Rafa Benitez and while most look set to hang on until he inevitably gets the boot, some will look for – at the very least – a loan move.
Denis Cheryshev, he of the Copa del Rey SNAFU, has not seen his promises for first-team football met and could return to Villarreal, where he spent last season. There’s also a chance he could go permanently with a buyback clause but really the Russian needs to break ties with Madrid and get regular action ahead of Euro 2016.
Jesé is a favourite of the fans and of Florentino Perez but can’t hold down a first-team place even though he’s played quite well this season when called upon.
The Canary Islander’s agent, Gines Carvajal, is an influential man on the Spanish football scene and has said publicly that if Jesé didn’t get more gametime then they would be looking elsewhere. With no sign of an uptick on playing minutes, the 22-year-old has a decision to make.