Content Editor at Free Super Tips, Alex was born in the shadow of Old Trafford and is an avid Man Utd fan. After graduating from university he combined his love of football, writing and betting to join FST and now closely follows goings-on in all of the top European leagues.
It has been a bitterly disappointing season for Real Madrid. They were effectively out of running for silverware by the end of February with a run of four straight home defeats leading to two cup exits and leaving them with an impossible gap to close in La Liga. The only minor consolation to all that was that Real Madrid were left with six months to plan for next season and work on trying to assemble a side capable of challenging eternal rivals Barcelona.
Zinedine Zidane has since returned with the general assumption being that he arrives with an almost unprecedented level on control over transfer matters at a club where the coach is normally very separate from the player recruitment process. Here is how Real Madrid might line up next season if they can seal deals for some of their main transfer targets and the latest odds on some of the players they are hoping to buy:
Goalkeeper – Thibaut Courtois
The goalkeeper position is one of the few where Real Madrid don’t really need to strengthen. They already have Thibaut Courtois, widely considered to be amongst the best in the world and Keylor Navas who has rarely let Los Blancos down and was number one as Real Madrid reeled off three straight Champions League wins under Zinedine Zidane. So far there has been no strong indicator as to who will start next season as first choice with both men getting some game-time since Zidane’s return. There may be some pressure from boardroom level to go with the Belgian though after Real Madrid invested heavily in him last summer and the latest rumours suggest that is the way they will go with Navas perhaps heading elsewhere.
Right Back – Dani Carvajal
Dani Carvajal has been a mainstay of the Real Madrid side for several years now. By his own admission he hasn’t had the best of seasons but he is by no means the only one in a white shirt. Despite his poor form, it would be a surprise if Carvajal doesn’t start next season as the first choice right-back with more pressing issues to solve.
Centre Back – Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos is one of the few Real Madrid players to come out of this season with any level of credit. His performance levels haven’t really dipped on recent seasons and he was notably absent from the heavy defeat to Ajax, by far the most damaging result of Real Madrid’s season. While that absence was self-inflicted, Real are clearly a much more solid side when Ramos plays and dispensing with their long-serving skipper would surely be a foolish move at this time of crisis.
Centre Back – Eder Militao
Zinedine Zidane has publicly stated his desire to keep Raphael Varane but there is a very clear need to raise some money to fund the purchase of Real Madrid’s top summer transfer targets. That may at least see them entertain offers for the French World Cup winner who will have plenty of suitors and he could potentially be used in a part-exchange offer for Paul Pogba. Even if Varane stays, he will face stiff competition for a starting role from Eder Militao. The Brazilian has already agreed to join Los Blancos from Porto for a fee of around £43 million and will be hoping to go straight into the team at centre-back.
Left Back – Marcelo
Marcelo has had a disastrous season at Real Madrid with a collection of poor performances seeing him lose his place under Santi Solari to youngster Segrio Reguilon. However the Brazilian is clearly a favourite of Zidane’s and he has played the full ninety minutes in 7 of Madrid’s 9 games since the return of the Frenchman. A lack of dynamic left-backs on the market suggests Los Blancos may look to hold onto the 30 year old and hope he can regain his top form next season although he is a rumoured target for Juventus.
Holding Midfielder – Casemiro
Casemiro looked in real danger of losing his position in the side to Marcos Llorente earlier in the season but an injury to the young Spaniard combined with the return of Zidane seems to have swung things firmly back in his favour. A lack of goals has been Real Madrid’s main problem this season so it seems unlikely they will allocate any funds to a defensive midfielder this summer, particularly with new boy Militao also capable of operating in the role.
Central Midfielder – Paul Pogba
The central midfield is where things start to get really interesting in terms of how Real Madrid may line up next season. It has been widely reported that Paul Pogba is a major transfer target and Manchester United’s failure to quality for the Champions League appears to have moved that deal an inch closer. Pogba would most likely be at least open to the move but the big stumbling block from a Real Madrid perspective is likely to be convincing Manchester United to sell while they will also have to move a few players on to raise funds for what would need to be a huge offer.
United appear to be at a crossroads where they either need to decide to build a team around Pogba or cash in on their biggest asset and use the money to help assemble a virtually new-look team as they try to close the gap to the top two in the Premier League. After underwhelming seasons from Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, Pogba would certainly be a welcome addition to this Real Madrid midfield.
Central Midfielder – Christian Eriksen
The same can certainly be said of Christian Eriksen who is viewed in Madrid as the perfect heir to Modric who may leave the club this summer. Convincing Daniel Levy to sell the Danish international won’t be easy but Eriksen is believed to be keen on a move to the Spanish capital and with his contract up next summer, selling Eriksen now could be the smart move from a Spurs perspective. Eriksen would add a touch of creativity to the Real Madrid midfield and would be the perfect foil for the more athletic Pogba. Getting both deals over the line won’t be easy though.
Right Winger – Marco Asensio
The likes of Gareth Bale, Isco, Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio have been used in wide areas this season. Only Vinicius has really impressed but he is still seen as a raw talent and may be relegated to a back-up role next term if Eden Hazard arrives. On the right flank, a lot will depend on who Real Madrid are able to cash in on. At 23, there is greater patience when it comes to Marco Asensio and Real Madrid may start off with him next term in the hope that the Spaniard can rediscover his best form after a summer break.
Striker – Karim Benzema
The undisputed star of Real Madrid’s season has been Karim Benzema. The Frenchman has fired in 31 goals in all competitions and is the only one of Real Madrid’s forward players to step up to the plate and fill the void left by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. Real have also been linked with a move for Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic but if the Serbian does arrive, he may have to play second fiddle to Benzema initially at least.
Left Winger – Eden Hazard
One transfer arrival that does look likely to happen is that of Eden Hazard. Like Eriksen, the Belgian’s current deal expires in 2020 and Chelsea may be willing to let their star man go now if the bid from Madrid is high enough. The Belgian has continued to flirt with the Spanish champions over the past year or so and even Chelsea’s Champions League qualification seems unlikely to change that. Real Madrid have struggled to find a solution on either flank this season and Hazard seems like the perfect man to come in and provide a much needed increase to their goal threat and creativity from out wide next term.
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